A man hired to kill a Kranskop taxi owner testified against his alleged accomplices on Thursday.
Thembinkosi Mjobe was giving evidence against Mndeni Nala, 31; Bhani Ngubane, 41; Sipho Ngubane, 45; Thula Ngubane, 36; and Sukumani Ngubane, 27, who have all pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and nine of attempted murder.
All five accused sat in the dock at the Pietermaritzburg High Court, clad in brown leather jackets and jeans.
Mjobe testified that he was hired, along with Nala, by the Ngubane brothers to kill Mdumiseni Jali, who owns taxis under the banner of the Alexander Taxi Association.
Jali escaped two attempts on his life near Kranskop in December, 2006. The second, an ambush, claimed the lives of two teenagers who, minutes earlier, had asked him for a lift to the main road.
Nokuthula Bhengu, 15, and Cebisile Xakaza, 17, were both shot in the head in a hail of bullets on New Year’s Eve, 2006, by six gunmen armed with AK-47 assault rifles.
Nokuthula was pregnant at the time she was killed.
Four other passengers in the vehicle, Jali’s mother Sholiphi, Thandeka Nyezi, Bongiwe Ngubane and Thembekile Ndlela were wounded in the attack.
Jali escaped unharmed.
The State alleges that Jali and Bhani Ngubane were both members of the Alexander Taxi Association during 2006 and Ngubane had been suspended from the organisation some time before the incident. Ngubane allegedly believed Jali had played a part in his suspension, and he and his co-accused decided to kill him.
It is alleged that after a failed attempt to kill Jali on December 23, 2006, the Ngubane brothers approached Nala and Mjobo and hired them to kill Jali in exchange for R30 000.
Jali, who testified earlier in the trial, recognised Bhani Ngubane as one of the two gunmen who opened fire on him in the first attack.
He was wounded in the thigh and right knee.
In the attack on December 31, 2006, he recognised the four Ngubanes as being among the assailants.
He was transporting passengers to the main road in Kranskop when six gunmen appeared and opened fire on him with rifles, killing Nokuthula and Cebisile.
Mjobe, who pleaded guilty to his role in the attacks and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, described in detail to the court how he and the accused had laid in wait on the roadside for Jali to drive past.
He said that they all had their firearms cocked and as soon as they saw Jali’s vehicle approaching, they opened fire on the vehicle.
All the accused have denied their involvement in the attacks and maintain that they do not know Mjobe.
Nala and the Ngubane brothers are out on bail.
The trial continues.