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Cape Town - A suspected thief killed in a vigilante attack in Khayelitsha was a “trouble-maker”, the Western Cape High Court has heard.
Nomvelo Matinise, the sister of one of three men allegedly murdered by an angry mob on March 14 last year, was cross-examined on Monday.
Advocate Antoinette O’Neill, for one of the alleged killers Lumnko Babalaza, put it to Matinise that she and her mother admitted in court that her brother, Mabhuti Matinise, was a “trouble-maker”.
Matinise conceded this.
O’Neill questioned her about how the community treated her family because of her brother.
“I take it your were not held in high esteem by the community because you were family of a trouble-maker?” O’Neill asked.
“Yes,” Matinise responded.
“Yes, my brother was a trouble-maker but he was changing.”
Mabhuti Matinise, 20, with two friends, Luxolo Mpontshane, 25, and Sivuyile Rola, 28, were allegedly kidnapped and tortured for nine hours for allegedly stealing a television set from a businessman in the area.
Their hands were allegedly tied with wire and they were beaten with blunt objects. The men were then taken to the Macassar sand dunes and left to die.
A policeman patrolling the area discovered their bodies.
A fourth man, Mphuthumi Nobanda, also suspected of having a hand in the theft of the television set, had also allegedly been beaten for information. He survived the attack.
The men were suspected of breaking into the Harare home of Mziwabantu Madiba Mncwengi, on March 10 last year.
Mncwengi, his brother, Mzimasi Madiba Mncwengi, sister-in-law, Buyelwa Mncwengi, Xolani Makapela, Mawende Siboma and Babalaza are on trial in the high court.
They have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, assault and kidnapping.
The charges were withdrawn against Morris Maxela - who has turned State witness - in exchange for his testimony against the six.
O’Neill put it to Matinise that her client denied that he was involved in the crime.
“That’s not the truth,” she said.
Matinise testified last week that the Mncwengi brothers and Babalaza came to her family home during the early hours of March 13 last year and manhandled her brother.
They had allegedly taken her brother outside and beaten him with sticks and dragged him into a white Quantum minibus.
The trial continues on Tuesday.