Mpofu attack: judgment postponed

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iol news pic justice-scale and gavel may 23 INDEPENDENT MEDIA File picture

East London - Judgment in the trial of two men accused of assaulting human rights lawyer Dali Mpofu was postponed in the East London Regional Court on Thursday.

Chuma Komeni, 23, and Thulani Simon, 19, appeared before magistrate Sadia Jacobs, who heard that their legal aid lawyer Sivuyile Ntlonze was absent.

Judgment will now be delivered on Monday

Komeni and Simon are accused of stabbing Mpofu several times before robbing him of his personal belongings in a bushy area along the Eastern Beach in East London on April 11 last year.

They are facing charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and robbery. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Mpofu's attack happened near a place where two Swedish tourists were robbed and raped in January 2012.

Two weeks ago, Komeni was sentenced to 12 years in jail for another robbery along the beachfront in October 2012, when a tourist and a police reservist were robbed of their cellphones.

In their defence, the two told the court that it was not a robbery but a struggle over a pair of trousers.

During cross-examination, Komeni told the court they had used drugs moments before the crime was committed.

“We were high on drugs and we did not plan to rob him but when the complainant attacked us we fought back and stabbed him before running away,” said Komeni.

The two told the court they were coming from Nahoon when Komeni went to the bushes to relieve himself while Simon went to fetch water.

Simon said he saw a pair of trousers lying unattended and after picking up the pants, someone appeared from the bushes and assaulted him.

He told the court he cried for help and Komeni came to his rescue and in the process stabbed Mpofu several times before running away with the trousers.

The two found R900 inside Mpofu's wallet and a cellphone and shared the money before selling Mpofu's cellphone.

Mpofu suffered seven stab wounds on his upper body and legs.

Mpofu is representing arrested and injured miners at the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana shooting in August 2012.


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