A man arrested in connection with the murders of three men has told a packed Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court that the blood police found on his trousers got there when he tried to intervene in the attack.
Mziwabantu Madiba Mngacwengi, 45, is one of the four people accused in the murders of Luxolo Mpontshane, 25, Mabhuti Matinise, 20, and Sivuyile Rola, 28, whose bodies were found on sand dunes by officers on patrol in Macassar on March 15.
The men had allegedly been kidnapped by residents the day before and tortured for nine hours because they were suspected of stealing Mngacwengi’s plasma TV.
Mngacwengi, his brother Mzimasi Madiba Mngacwengi, 37, sister-in-law Buyelwa Nokwandisa Mngacwengi, 31, and Lumnko Bambaloza, 37, were arrested soon afterwards. They face three counts of murder and three of kidnapping.
On the first day of their bail application last week, Mngacwengi professed his innocence, telling the court that he had left the scene where residents were allegedly assaulting the alleged thieves.
Yesterday, in cross-examining Mngacwengi, prosecutor Ndakhele Mlunywana asked about the blood found in his garage and bakkie and on his trousers.
Mngacweni said: “One of the community members hit one of the (thieves) while they were showing us how they entered my house. His nose was bleeding. (He and Bambaloza) washed the bakkie a while later after we noticed spots of blood… people (had) 0started assaulting them while they were still in my bakkie.
“My pants were stained (with blood) when I tried to intervene between the community and those guys, but we left because we were hungry.”
Mlunywana questioned Mngacweni’s decision to leave the scene, knowing the men were being assaulted. He said he found Mngacweni’s actions strange because he had not reported the incident to police.
said his brother Mzimasi Mngacwengi was at the taxi rank when they arrived. “When we came back home between 5 and 6 that night I asked what happened to those guys and Buyelwa told me they ran into the shacks.”
Bambaloza then took the stand. He said he was self-employed and father of four children and that his wife was unemployed and had no means of income since his arrest.
Magistrate Naziem Cassiem postponed their bail hearing to May 8. - Cape Times