Witness tells of amnesia

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Copy of IOL court justice scales Independent Newspapers

Durban - A farm attack in Ixopo a year ago was so traumatic for a woman who worked at the farm that she could not remember it, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Thursday.

Margaret Fennell, 70, testified in the trial of Nkosinathi Emmanuel Mngadi, 29, and Sifiso Alfred Ngubane, 24, of KwaMashu, who are charged with the murder and robbery of farmer Peter Charles Hackland, 61, at Cromleigh farm in Ixopo on May 7.

Fennell said at about 12.30pm, the Hackland family would have been having lunch. She could not remember anything else.

“I believe that with the psychological and emotional trauma, amnesia can result. I was being hit on the face. It must have been traumatic seeing what was happening in the kitchen. I sustained injuries. I was hit on the left side of the face. There was an open wound above my left jaw.”

She added that she remembered how painful it was after visiting a doctor, but could not remember being driven there.

Before the incident, she said, she did not suffer from memory loss.

“Since it happened, I am apprehensive about my memory returning and how it would affect me.”

Earlier in the week, the farmer’s daughter, Louise Hartwig, testified.

She said she was preparing lunch when she realised her father was shouting. She went outside and saw him between the two accused.

She and Fennell were dragged into the pantry and assaulted.

The trial is continuing.

The Mercury

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