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One of the alleged attackers who tortured a Midlands family by throwing boiling water on them challenged the admissibility of an identity parade in which the victims identified him.
Mvusi Dlamini was giving evidence in support of his bail application at the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
The State opposed bail.
Dlamini said that after his arrest there had been a breach of procedure by police when conducting the identity parade.
“We were handcuffed and made to wait at the entrance to the police station where members of the public could see us,” Dlamini said, adding that the identity parade was held after he and his alleged accomplices had already made two court appearances.
“Court proceedings were attended by Indian people that saw us in the dock before the identity parade,” Dlamini said.
He said he had never set foot on the Lakhis’ farm and told the court that on the day of the attack he had attended a funeral and then gone home.
Dlamini said he was his family’s sole breadwinner and needed to be released on bail to support them.
“I want to be able to continue with my life,” Dlamini said, indicating that he would plead not guilty.
Dlamini, 26, of K-section in Umlazi, and Lucky Mbonambi, 28, of Reunion in Isipingo, were applying for bail.
A third suspect, Siyabonga Mchunu, who had yet to secure legal representation, declined to apply for bail.
The three are charged with the armed robbery and assault of a family in the Albert Falls area in April.
Police are still searching for four others involved in the attack, while two other suspects who have been arrested are co-operating with the State.
The men are alleged to have been part of an armed gang that stormed Ahmed Lakhi’s home on a Cramond farm and attacked the family and their visitors. It is alleged that they tortured the family and poured boiling water on some of them, including a two-year-old child.
The gang got away with items including handbags, firearms, jewellery and cellphones worth about R168 000. Cash was also taken.
They were charged with two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, six counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and seven counts of fraud, as well as theft of a vehicle and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
The fraud charges arose from the use of a petrol card which ws stolen from the Lakhi family.
Mchunu is alleged to have identified the family as targets to his gang of accomplices.
The victims identified Dlamini as their primary torturer, who had assaulted them and poured the boiling water on them.
The bail application continues on Wednesday.