Accused killer Mzwandile Magubane, who has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Lorraine Karg, Hilda Linyane and Zakius Mhlongo, was found in possession of two remote controls belonging to the Karg family on the day of his arrest.
This was the testimony of Lieutenant Maybra Nzimande, of the Pietermaritzburg Organised Crime Unit, at the city’s High Court on Thursday.
Nzimande was testifying in the trial-within-a-trial phase of the main murder trial, relating to the admissibility of a pointing-out that was made by Magubane after his arrest on July 28, 2010.
Magubane, 21, has denied making the pointing-out and has accused Nzimande and the arresting officers of assaulting him into making certain admissions.
Magubane, who has pleaded his innocence and claims he has no knowledge of the attack on the Kargs’ farm on July 21, 2010, alleges the police shocked him on his upper arms and testicles, throttled with a tube and sprayed him with teargas.
Nzimande has denied any role in the assault and said that upon his arrest, a balaclava, a pair of gloves and two remotes – which control the gates at the Karg farm – were found in a backpack under Magubane’s bed.
A spot of blood that has been forensically proven to belong to Magubane was found on one of the remotes.
Magubane then led police to his brother Velaphi’s home, where they recovered two knives and a firearm.
Police also arrested Colin Mapalala and Nhlanhla Dladla.
All the suspects were taken to the Mooi River police station, where they made statements.
While police were taking Mapalala’s fingerprints, he disarmed a police officer of his firearm and was shot dead by other officers.
Also testifying on Thursday was district surgeon Dr Mohamed Adam, who examined Magubane after the alleged assault. Adam confirmed that Magubane had no signs of any assault, either on his body or his face.
He said that with the assault Magubane described, one would expect to find abrasions, tears in the skin or ruptured blood vessels in the eyes and on the inner lip; however Magubane displayed none of these injuries.
Magubane was originally charged with his brother Velaphi and Dladla.
However, the State had to withdraw three charges of murder, two of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and robbery with aggravating circumstances against Dladla earlier this week.
This was because on Monday, Velaphi, who turned state witness, made an about-turn on the witness stand, claiming he knew nothing about the crimes and that he was assaulted into making a false statement by the police.
Velaphi will now be charged for his role in the attack.
He was the only state witness implicating Dladla in the attack on the Kargs’ farm, and without his testimony, the State was left with no alternative but to stop prosecution against Dladla.
As things now stand, Magubane alone is charged with the murders of Karg and farm employees Linyane and Mhlongo, as well as assaults on Linyane’s teenage son Innocent and Mhlongo’s son Bonginkosi.
Karg, Linyane and Mhlongo were slain on the Karg family farm, Sherwood, in Rosetta, near Mooi River, in July 2010.
Karg, 58, Linyane, 34, and Mhlongo, 65, were attacked when they returned to the house to get extra firefighting equipment to fight a pasture fire.
Karg’s body was discovered by her husband Neville. Her throat had been slit.
Linyane was shot dead and Mhlongo was stabbed to death. - The Mercury
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