Pietermaritzburg - The daughter of a murdered Ixopo farmer struggled to keep her composure as she recalled the day her 61-year-old father was shot dead and she and an employee on the farm were assaulted.
“I will never forget that day. It changed our lives for ever,” said Louise Hartwig.
She was testifying in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday at the trial of Nkosinathi Mngadi, 29, and Sifiso Ngubane, 24.
The pair, from KwaMashu in Durban, are charged with the murder of Peter Charles Hackland as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Hackland, Hartwig and their employee, Margaret Fennell, were attacked on the Cromleigh Farm in Ixopo on the morning of May 7 last year.
The State alleged that a third man, Mxolisi Mkhize, was once employed by Hackland on the farm.
He, Ngubane and Mngadi decided to rob the farmer on May 7.
Mkhize later decided not to participate in the robbery for fear of being identified.
It is alleged that Mngadi and Ngubane approached Hackland on the pretext of seeking work. They then drew their guns and demanded money from him. When Hackland told them he had no money on the farm, the two allegedly assaulted and tortured Hartwig and Fennell; punching and kicking them, threatening to shoot them and spraying pepper spray in their faces.
They again demanded money, but when no cash was forthcoming, they shot Hackland, killing him, took his wallet and cellphone, and fled.
Hartwig said being assaulted and tortured and seeing her father being shot would haunt her for the rest of her life.
She identified Ngubane and Mngadi as being the attackers who assaulted her and shot her father.
The two men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mngadi said he was not in the Ixopo area at the time of the murder. Ngubane – who was arrested and in possession of the firearm that ballistics tests matched to the murder weapon – said he was in KwaMashu at the time.
He said the firearm had been given to him by one Mlenza Khumalo as security for a R350 debt.
The two made confessions to the police when they were arrested. However, in his plea explanation Ngubane said he was assaulted and threatened into making the confession by police.
The case is proceeding.