Durban - A man serving two life terms for the murders of two Midlands stud farm employees has implicated Mapogo A Mathamaga security company boss Rudolph Struwig in the killings.
Lucky Mlangeni pleaded guilty to his involvement in the shootings in 2008 and testified against Struwig, his former employer, at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Tuesday.
Mlangeni said he began working for Struwig in 2004 as a security guard on farms in the Midlands area, including Estcourt and Mooi River, and in Pietermaritzburg.
Mlangeni, who was a licensed firearm owner, said his duties involved patrolling the farms to which he was assigned.
He told the court that one morning in June 2004, Struwig told him of a problem on St Ives Farm in Howick, where the owner of the farm was having problems with an employee, Simphiwe Ndlovu.
Ladysmith-based Struwig and Mlangeni then set off to St Ives, where they met the owner, who explained the nature of the problem.
“The allegation was that Ndlovu had killed the previous owner of the farm, and cows were consistently going missing on the farm,” Mlangeni said.
Struwig then allegedly said that if Ndlovu could kill the previous owner, he was capable of killing the current owner.
“Struwig suggested that Ndlovu be assassinated because he was becoming dangerous,” Mlangeni said.
He explained that Struwig arranged for him to meet two employees, and they were to carry out the hit on Ndlovu. Mlangeni was instructed by Struwig to be the triggerman because he had experience using firearms.
Mlangeni said Struwig arranged for him to use an unlicensed firearm that belonged to one of the other employees.
On June 10, 2004, Mlangeni described how he and his two accomplices, Edward and Themba, drove to St Ives and lay in wait for Ndlovu.
Ndlovu and his son Dennis were returning to the farm in their vehicle when they came under fire from Mlangeni.
“I was half a metre away from their car when I started firing. I got back into my vehicle and we drove back to Ladysmith, where we reported back to Struwig,” said Mlangeni.
Mlangeni and his two accomplices received R5 000 for their efforts. He said Struwig told them they could not be paid more as other employees would become suspicious.
Ndlovu died after the attack and his son was wounded.
Following Ndlovu’s death, Mlangeni alleged, Struwig arranged for him to perform another assassination of an employee on the Rathmor Stud Farm in October 2004.
He said Struwig took Mlangeni to the farm, where the owner allegedly told them that an employee, Mandla Masango, was selling liquor on the premises illegally and refused to leave the farm.
Mlangeni said Struwig arranged for him to stay on the farm for two weeks so that he could become acquainted with Masango and his movements.
“I was undercover,” Mlangeni said.
Mlangeni said he shot Masango multiple times as he was driving to the farm.
Again, Struwig allegedly paid him R5 000 for the murder.
“I am very sorry for what I have done. I did what I did for money. I am not proud of what I have done,” Mlangeni said.
Struwig has pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and one of attempted murder.
He is charged with the murder of Ndlovu, the attempted murder of his son, and the murder of Masango.
The State alleges in its indictment that Struwig had procured guards in his employ to carry out the murders in question.