Mogwase - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor in Marikana, near Rustenburg, Phillip Mntombi convened a meeting at the Marikana police station before Sabata Petros Chale was hacked to death, the North West High Court heard on Monday.
Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha and Herbert Baqhesi told the court that they went to the Marikana police station on December 8, 2016, after Mntombi had used a loud speaker ordering people to gather at the police station after the police allegedly fired live ammunition at Marikana West.
Seitsang told the court he went to the police station alone and unarmed, he found about 500 men at the police station and Mntombi was speaking.
"I was standing at the back, from the police station I went to my house. I only heard of the death of Sabata when I was arrested on December 12, 2016. I did not know him," he said testifying in his defence.
The State alleges that Seitsang, Sobopha, Baqhesi, William Nyenyane, Samson Gqwetani, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana killed 39-year-old Chale in Marikana West on December 8, 2016.
Chale was killed allegedly by the group over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses in Marikana. He was hacked with spears and pangas. He sustained several stabbed wounds. The court heard that his attackers drank his blood after he was killed.
According to postmortem report he died due to multiple injuries and sharp forced trauma.
Testifying for the State, Mpumelelo Xakumbisa, who was a former community leader at the RDP section known as Khabangena said he found armed men near his house when he returned from work.
He was briefed that the police fired shots and that they all had to march to the police station, he was asked to bring along weapons, which he did.
After the meeting at the police station they went back in groups, Seitsang leading the pack to point out Chale's house.
The group split into two as they chased Chale, he was cornered and stabbed to death, after that all the men had a meeting and agreed that they were not going to speak about Chale's murder.
Seitsang, Sobopha and Baqhesi took the stand on Monday. They all denied knowing Chale and stated that after the meeting at the police station they each went back to their respective homes.
They did not see Chale being killed and they were never part of a meeting following his murder.
Seitsang denied knowing Chale and the two State witnesses Josephine Tayitayi and Mpumelelo Xakumbisa.
"I only saw Xakumbisa and Matshidiso [Josephine Tayitayi] in court. I do not know them, same as Sabata who is alleged was killed."
Sobopha said he saw Baqhesi and William Nyenyane at the police station and left, as such he could not dispute whether a meeting was held after Chale was killed.
The case was postponed to Tuesday, when the state was expected to cross-examine Baqhesi.
African News Agency (ANA)