Pretoria - A Brits father and son are facing a charge of murder in the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, following the death of a farmer in the area.
The emotional widow and mother of eight described to a judge how she found the body of her husband along a road, minutes after he had phoned to say “the whites are killing me.”
Anna Mavula took the stand on Thursday to testify against Brits businessman Schalk Myburg, 56 and his son Schalk Jnr, 30.
It is claimed that they pair had brutally assaulted Muraga Mavula, a Brits farmer, and that they had allegedly drove over his body.
The father and son did not deny that they had an altercation with Mavula on the night of December 28, 2015. They, however, denied attacking him or running him over.
They said in their plea that they had no idea how he had suffered the multiple injuries which were described in a post mortem report.
According to the accused they in fact went to the police station to lay a charge of assault against Mavula, when they were told by the investigating officer that he was dead and that they were going to be arrested for murder.
Both described basically the same scenario in their plea about what happened that night.
Myburg Snr owned a construction company in Brits and his son worked for him.
They were travelling home from fixing a client’s swimmingpool in the Brits area on the night of the incident, when they saw a bakkie standing along the road.
Myburg said he saw a dead animal next to the bakkie, along with a group of people, as well as others who were emerging from the bushes with another dead animal, which later emerged to be a goat.
They stopped alongside the men and asked the deceased where they got the animals from. They suggested that they all go to the adjacent farm to ask the farm owner whether the animals belonged to him.
Myburg Snr said Mavula hit his son in the face and he went to assist his son. The next thing, he said, he was punched.
“I pulled him (the deceased) to the ground and told my son to run for help. I was terrified at the time.”
Myburg Jnr drove to the nearby farm, while his father was embroiled in an altercation with the deceased and others, the court was told.
Myburg said he eventually ran away and hid in a ditch, until he saw his son returning with a farmer. He went back to the scene but saw that “trouble was brewing” as more people arrived on the scene.
Myburg said they left the scene and went to the Brits hospital for treatment, as both of them had suffered injuries, including bite marks from the deceased.
They went to the police station the next morning to open a case of assault, but they were instead arrested for murder.
The pair said they had no idea that Mavula was dead, as they did nothing to him.
Mavula’s widow meanwhile said that she and her husband had owned a farm in the area for the past 15 years. On the night of the incident her husband left the house in his bakkie, accompanied by three of their sons.
She ran a bath but her daughter, who had her cellphone at the time, came running to her, saying “mamma, mamma, daddy said whites are killing him.”
The distressed widow got into her car with two of her daughters and two farmworkers and they drove to the spot where her husband said he was.
Along the way they saw his car along the road, with its lights still on.
“I then saw his body on the side of the road, with his legs towards the road and his upper body on the grass. His shirt was torn and he was clad only in his underpants. He was dead.”
The court will hold an inspection in loco on Thursday at the scene of the alleged crime.