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The mother of one of the teenagers accused of killing Pinetown resident Errol Stainer in a hijacking last year, may give evidence for the State about why she angrily slapped her son as he lay bleeding after being hit by a car while fleeing from the police.
A policeman who allegedly witnessed the event told Durban High Court Judge Mohini Moodley on Monday that the mother of Siyabonga Nyanisa, 18, of New Germany had been speaking Zulu so he did not know what she said.
“She assaulted him properly. She was unhappy,” former metro police officer Riaan Groenewald said.
Nyanisa is standing trial, along with Siboniso Ngcoya, also 18, of Clermont, charged with murdering 67-year-old Stainer and robbing him of his car and wallet.
Stainer had gone to buy the newspaper from his local shop in Sarnia on the morning of August 24 last year, when he was attacked by three young men, one carrying a gun.
He was shot in the abdomen and the bullet exited his body through his back.
Both teenagers have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutor Nick de Klerk said the State would rely on witnesses involved in the arrest of Nyanisa and others who, while not being able to identify the accused, would give descriptions of clothing.
Ngcoya had also done a pointing out to the police, but the admissibility of this would be contested by the defence.
Groenewald, who has now left the metro police, told the court he had been on duty that day and been alerted to the hijacking by his ex-wife, who said she had witnessed a shooting.
She gave him a description of the stolen vehicle, including its registration number and the fact that it had crashed into the pavement and had a flat front tyre.
He came across the vehicle “going slowly and bobbing and weaving”, but lost sight of it on a bend. When he turned the corner, it had lost control and hit a tree trunk.
“The doors were open and I saw three men running, one wearing a blue hoody.”
He gave chase and they ran on to the freeway, ducking cars. One – Nyanisa – was hit by a car and was seriously injured. The other two fled.
While he lay injured on the ground, his mother had arrived and started “assaulting” him.
Under cross examination by advocate Phillip Zilwa, for Nyanisa, he conceded that he could not contradict Nyanisa’s version that he was crossing the road “going about his chores” and that people sometimes ran across freeways.
The motorist who hit Nyanisa, Wendy McKenzie, told the court that she was driving in the fast lane towards Durban when she noticed “three guys running very fast” across the traffic. At first she thought they were running for a taxi, but she could see none.
“They were laughing… I then thought perhaps they were playing a game of chicken.”
She said the first two ran in front of her car, but her fender clipped the third one. He hit her windscreen, bounced off her bonnet and then rolled off. He got up and continued across the busy road, collapsing when he got to the emergency lane on the other side.
When she pulled over, she saw the other two standing over him, but as she advanced they ran away.
Another motorist slowed down and told her “those guys have guns”.
Under cross examination, it was put to her that Nyanisa denied he had been laughing.
She said she could not dispute that. She could also not dispute his version that he did not know the other people who were crossing the freeway with him.
The trial continues on Tuesday.