Two men who killed and raped a lesbian to face trial for 'killing' jeweller while out on parole

Jeweller Charl Munnik was shot and killed in 2021. Picture: Facebook

Jeweller Charl Munnik was shot and killed in 2021. Picture: Facebook

Published May 14, 2024


Cape Town - Two of the men sentenced for the rape and murder of 19-year-old Zoliswa Nkonyana, because she was lesbian, are alleged to have robbed and killed Cape businessman Charl Munnik after being released on parole.

Luyanda Lonzi, Sicelo Mase, Awonke Ziqu and Ndyebo Dotwana’s pretrial proceedings took place in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed the group’s trial is set to take place in August.

Lonzi and Mase are sentenced prisoners, as they, together with Lubabalo Ntlabathi and Mbulelo Damba, were sentenced to 18 years for the rape and murder of Nkonyana, which rocked the Western Cape in 2006 after the teen was stoned, kicked and beaten for being a lesbian.

The trial dragged on for six years until the verdict and sentence.

Nkonyana was attacked by a group of men outside a tavern in Khayelitsha.

Zoliswa Nkonyana was murdered for being a lesbian. File Image

According to the indictment in the Munnik matter, the accused are facing nine charges relating to robbery with aggravated circumstances, murder, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and unlicensed ammunition.

The State is set to prove that the group shot and killed Munnik, a prominent jeweller in Worcester, using a semi-automatic firearm after forcefully taking his belongings on January 29, 2021, at Munnik Jewellers.

The State will also proceed with evidence that the murder had been premeditated.

The court papers reveal that on the day of the murder, Munnik and his female relative (his mother), who ran the business together, had been at the premises with their employees when four men entered and announced that they were carrying out a robbery.

“The robbery was captured on CCTV and the two assailants were seen wielding firearms,” the indictment reads. One of the men then “grabbed the female victim by the neck” and took her belongings.

In relation to count one, that of robbery aggravated, the State said the group assaulted the woman by forcefully taking items from her such as jewellery and a cellphone.

It was during this time that Munnik ran to his mother’s aid and had his licensed firearm in his possession.

Shots were fired, Munnik was fatally wounded and the group fled with his firearm.

The State further alleges that three of the accused are from Khayelitsha and are linked by means of facial recognition and an identity parade.

Two of the accused, Lonzi and Dotwana, were arrested in Worcester, while Mase and Ziqu were arrested in Lentegeur.

The State contends the group were in the possession of a 9mm Parabellum Calibre Glock model 43x semi-automatic with the serial number erased or removed, which belonged to Munnik.

According to additional court papers, Lonzi and Mase were granted parole in 2019. Lonzi’s parole was to expire in April 2026, Mase’s in 2025.

Lonzi was also convicted of escaping from custody while awaiting trial in the previous murder of Nkonyana.

Mase has been deemed a high-risk prisoner.

Both are currently in prison.

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Cape Argus