eMkhondo murders: Eight charged with murder of two men at Mpumalanga farm denied bail

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Eight men accused of the murder of Sifiso Thwala and Musa Nene on Pampoenkraal farm in August 2020 appear in court.
Eight men accused of the murder of Sifiso Thwala and Musa Nene on Pampoenkraal farm in August 2020 appear in court.
Kayleen Morgan
  • In his judgment, magistrate Dumisani Nxumalo said there was a likelihood that the men would intimidate witnesses if granted bail.
  • The men have been charged with the murders of  Sifiso Joseph Thwala and Musa France Nene and the attempted murder of Christopher Sthembiso Thwala on 9 August 2020 at the farm. 
  • The matter will be back in court in July.

The eight men charged with murdering two people on the Pampoenkraal farm in rural eMkhondo, Mpumalanga, have been denied bail. 

Zenzele Yende, Werner Potgieter, Eliot Dlamini, Moses Dlamini, Cornelius Greyling, Sikhumbuzo Zikalala, Mzwakhe Dlamini and Nkosinathi Msibi appeared in the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for judgment in their bail hearing. 

In his judgment, magistrate Dumisani Nxumalo said there was the likelihood that the men would intimidate witnesses if granted bail. 

"In respect of all eight applicants, there is a likelihood that these applicants, if released on bail, may influence some State witnesses or intimidate them as the identity of the Section 204 witnesses is known to them due to prior relationships," Nxumalo said. 

The eight men are charged with murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, and defeating the ends of justice. 

They stand accused of the murders of Sifiso Joseph Thwala and Musa France Nene and the attempted murder of Christopher Sthembiso Thwala  at the farm on 9 August 2020. 

READ | WATCH | Pampoenkraal in eMkhondo: The farm where 4 people have been killed in less than a year

Potgieter is the owner of Pampoenkraal farm. He, along with Yende, the supervisor of the farm's security guards, as well as Potgieter's son, Greyling, had been placed at the centre of the alleged assault.

Yende, Potgieter, and Greyling were out on bail for the murders of Zenzele and Mgcini Coka in April.

Nxumalo said the State had managed to prove exceptional circumstances on why the men should not be granted bail.

"The State managed to establish that in exceptional circumstances, the release of all eight applicants will send a sense of shock to the public and undermine the safety and confidence in the justice system.

"In the space of 10 months, four people have died on the same farm within the same community, thus establishing the exceptional circumstance. This has caused obviously a concern to the public," said Nxumalo.

Nxumalo said the men not subjecting themselves to cross-examination during the bail application made the State's case stronger. 

"The State's case is strong against all applicants owing to the applicants' failure to subject themselves to cross-examination; whilst there are gaps in their version regarding why the victims were taken to applicant number two's farm instead of the police station and how did the victim sustain injuries as reflected in the postmortem which even alludes to mob justice. Further, why were police only called after 7am the following day?" asked Nxumalo. 

The matter will be back in court in July.

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