Durban — The Durban High Court has reserved judgment in the murder trial against two men charged in relation to the murder of an off-duty policeman who was killed at the height of the July unrest.
One of the men is charged with murder and kidnapping, while the other faces two counts of attempted murder.
Judge Carol Sibiya was expected to deliver her verdict on Tuesday against Mzikayifani “Kayelihle” Ndebele and co-accused Sibusiso Ndlela, who are charged in relation to the murder of Zolani Leadus Zuma.
In court, Sibiya said: “The court is not in a position to deal with the matter today.”
She rolled over the matter to hand down judgment on Thursday.
It’s alleged that Zuma had been driving in his blue VW polo dressed in civilian clothes on the night of July 13. While driving he came across Ndebele and the assailants who allegedly had goods from looters in a car that Afrika Mthembu was driving. The policeman followed them to a house in Tshelimnyama.
Previous testimony was that the officer chased after Mthembu’s Kia truck in his Polo and allegedly fired shots while in pursuit.
At the house, Zuma confronted Mthembu and the assailants, producing his state firearm. Ndebele dispossessed Zuma of his gun and allegedly shot him, and in the process a shot hit his uncle Mthembu in the knee.
Mthembu was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in his Kia truck by his son Lungelo as well as his nephew Nzuzo Khethokuhle Mngadi, who led evidence in the trial for the State.
The court has heard testimony from Mngadi that Zuma was put into two refuse bags and loaded into the boot of his car while he was still alive. According to him Ndlela, Duve (who has been mentioned previously in testimony) and Lungelo participated in this act.
Nzuzo’s evidence is that his cousin Lungelo and Duve hatched the plan to go and torch the officer in his car, and all of them heard this. He said he stayed behind when Lungelo, driving the Kia, and Duve, driving the Polo with Ndlela and another unknown, to him left to do this.
Zuma’s car was found burnt the following day, and his charred body was discovered in the boot. Ndebele’s evidence was that while trying to dispossess Zuma of the gun, shots were fired.
Ndlela’s version is that he was not present when Zuma was put in the refuse bags and put in the boot.
The two were 18 and 19 years old at the time of the commission of the charges levelled against them.
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