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Malalane - A man who robbed a family three years ago in the Langeloop village, south of Malalane, was recognised during the attack because of the scars on his face, the Tonga Regional Court has heard.

Mkhuleko Given Khoza, 26, said he recognised accused Mvelo Mazibuko from 2010 because they were both in police custody for different cases and used to attend court proceedings together, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Although they were kept in different cells, Khoza remembered seeing him in court.

Khoza said on the night of the attack in 2011 he recognised Mazibuko from his body shape and scars.

Mazibuko appeared in court on Thursday and faces charges including murder, attempted murder, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Khoza was asleep on August 18, 2011 when he heard a noise around midnight.

“When I went to check what was going on, I stumbled into Mazibuko and his three friends and their guns were pointed at me,” said Khoza.

“He was pointing a gun at me. He put it on my forehead and I called him by his name and asked him not to kill me.”

Mazibuko then removed the firearm and ordered his co-accused to lock Khoza's brother and his girlfriend in a room.

“He then apologised to me, saying that he was not aware that the house he had targeted belongs to my family,” said Khoza.

“He told me that he had already tubed my mother and also robbed her of an amount of R200...”

Prosecutor Thulani Msibi asked if he knew what tubing meant and Khoza said “yes”.

“He meant that he had used a plastic to suffocate my mother,” explained Khoza.

Khoza then asked Mazibuko if he could see his mother. He was allowed to do so, but was then stopped near the kitchen and prevented from seeing her.

“They took me to a mealie field where I managed to free myself, but they shot me in the buttocks and I fell,” said Khoza.

“While I was lying on the ground facing down, the other one who had a gun shot me on my right shoulder and I was unable to wake up.”

Khoza told the court he managed to get up and run to a nearby clinic.

He woke up the next day in the Shongwe Hospital.

“It was in hospital where I learned of my mother's death. I felt very sad because I could not even attend her funeral and bid her goodbye,” he said.

Mazibuko's lawyer cross-examined Khoza and asked him to explain how he knew Mazibuko before the incident.

“I first met Mazibuko back in 2010 for a period of two weeks when we were attending different cases in the same court with the same dates. He was someone known in custody because everyone was calling his name, that is where I started to notice him too,” Khoza said.

“....His (Mazibuko's) co-accused (at the time) was my cellmate...”

The case was postponed to April 7.