eMkhondo killings: Postmortem shows 2 victims had 'mob justice' bruises

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Patrick Zenzele Yende, Werner Potgieter, Elliot Madodeni Dlamini, Mabheki Moses Dlamini, Cornelius Lourens Greyling, Zukhumbuzo Zikalala, Mzwakhe Cornelius, Dlamini and Vincent Nkosiwathi Msibi appear in court. (Photo: Isabel Venter)
Patrick Zenzele Yende, Werner Potgieter, Elliot Madodeni Dlamini, Mabheki Moses Dlamini, Cornelius Lourens Greyling, Zukhumbuzo Zikalala, Mzwakhe Cornelius, Dlamini and Vincent Nkosiwathi Msibi appear in court. (Photo: Isabel Venter)
  • The Piet Retief Magistrate's Court has heard the two men who died after an alleged assault on Pampoenkraal farm in August 2020 had multiple bruises. 
  • Their postmortem reports showed their bruises seemed like those associated with mob justice. 
  • The bail hearing continues on 10 June. 

The Piet Retief Magistrate's Court has heard the postmortem report of two men who died after an alleged assault on Pampoenkraal farm in August last year revealed their bruises "were those from mob justice".  

This according to investigating officer Warrant Officer Vukile David Nhlapho. 

He was testifying in the bail application of eight men - Zenzele Yende, Werner Potgieter, Eliot Dlamini, Moses Dlamini, Cornelius Greyling, Sikhumbuzo Zikalala, Mzwakhe Dlamini and Nkosinathi Msibi - before magistrate Dumisani Nxumalo. 

They face charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice. 

READ | eMkhondo killings: State opposes bail as defence applies for disclosure of docket

The men are also accused of assaulting brothers Christopher and Sifiso Thwala as well as Musa Nene. 

Sifiso and Nene died following the alleged incident. 

Tyre issues

The car in which the three were travelling in experienced tyre issues while on their way to Driefontein. They were travelling from Derkiesdorp at around 20:30 on 9 August 2020.

The men reportedly parked on the side of the road and were allegedly pounced on by the accused who accused them of stealing sheep on the farm. 

Nhlapho told the court according to Christopher, the only survivor of the alleged assaults, and statements from another witness, who worked as a guard on the night, the victims were allegedly assaulted by the accused. 

The investigating officer said the witness said they were allegedly beaten with fists and a sjambok, kicked and slapped.

WATCH | eMkhondo murders: Court hears victims were allegedly 'choked, sjambokked'

The alleged assault happened for about 30 minutes on the road where they were found, and for a few hours after being taken to Potgieter's farmyard. 

According to the survivor, two men arrived when they experienced car trouble. One was white and the other black.

Potgieter is the farm owner, and Greyling his son. Yende, who was the farm's foreman, was in charge of the security guards. 

Yende and Potgieter were allegedly first on the scene when the victims' car broke down. 

Suspicious vehicle

Pleading for bail, Yende said he had received a report a suspicious vehicle was switching its lights on and off close to where the sheep grazed.

He and the other guards responded, and when he got there, the vehicle's occupants attempted to flee.

Yende told the court he and the other guards caught the three men and took them back to their vehicle. 

He said when they searched it they found two live sheep in the boot, adding they then drove the three victims to the farmyard, and he left to attend to another report of a suspicious vehicle. 

Yende testified he had left the men with the other guards, Msibi included. 

Msibi told the court when he returned to the car the following morning, he found two of the victims dead.

He alleged the men were detained and would have been reported to the police the following day. 

But according to Nhlapho, the victims endured beatings to a point where they could not respond because of the extent of their pain.

Multiple bruises

According to the postmortem report, Sifiso suffered from multiple bruises on the left and right upper arm. 

He also had horizontal bruises on the chest and both legs. 

"Bruises [were] caused by different objects in keeping with mob justice," the report read, according to Nhlapho. 

READ | eMkhondo murders: Farmers, please do not assault cattle thieves, Mpumalanga police beg

He added Nene's postmortem report also stated his clothes were covered in sand, and he had bruises on his chest, forehead, cheek and left arm. 

His right arm was also fractured.

Nhlapho said the report stated the bruises were "caused by a blunt object in keeping with mob justice." 

The bail hearing continues on 10 June.

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