Dan Knight

Durban - One of the men who allegedly took part in the murder of Underberg farmer Dan Knight had stopped working for him because the pay was “too little” and decided to rob him because he believed the farmer kept lots of money.

These are the contents of a statement implicating three men in Knight’s murder in October that has been admitted as evidence by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Judge Jerome Mnguni ruled after a trial-within-a-trial that Bonginkosi Nyawose’s statement was admissible, but not Tsepiso Ramonyane’s.

He said on Tuesday he would give his reasons in the main judgment.

Ramonyane, Nyawose and Happy Gcina have denied guilt in Knight’s murder.

Nyawose said in the statement - which he says he signed without knowing what it said - that he was at home in Bulwer on October 16 when Gcina visited him and told him he knew a farm owner - Knight - who lived in Underberg and had a lot of money.

Knight paid his workers on Fridays.

Gcina told him he had worked for Knight, but had left because the “money was too little”.

Nyawose said they left Bulwer and were going to hitchhike to Underberg.

On the road, they met his friend, Ramonyane. They told him about Knight and asked him to join them if he was interested in getting money. He agreed.

The three men then went to the home of Ramonyane’s aunt in Underberg. The next day, they left at 12.30pm.

The trio, fearing they might attract attention, decided not to use the gate to Knight’s farm, and climbed over the fence.

They hid in a forest and waited for nightfall.

At about 8pm, they walked to the house and Ramonyane pushed open the door.

Knight and his partner, Beth Bucher, were sitting on the couch, eating.

“I grabbed the woman and forced her to lie on the couch, facing down.”

Gcina and Ramonyane went towards Knight. Nyawose said he noticed Ramonyane hitting Knight on the head with a hammer he had taken from his aunt’s house.

He said they tied Bucher’s hands with a shoelace. The men asked her for money and she said no money was kept in the house.

By this stage, Knight was bleeding heavily.

He was lying on the floor and was weak.

Nyawose said they looked all over the house for money, but found nothing.

Bucher said the safe was kept in an outbuilding.

He and Ramonyane went to look for the safe, while Gcina kept watch over Knight. They returned with firearms, Nyawose said.

He said Knight also told them that there was no money, and offered to write them a cheque.

They then took what they wanted and left in two of the couple’s vehicles.

The trial is continuing.

The Mercury