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Crowd protests against farmer's killing suspects

By unknown | Feb 26, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Thozi Manyisana

Thozi Manyisana

More than 70 people protested outside the King William's Town magistrates' court on Thursday against two men accused of killing an 82-year-old white pensioner.

The two suspects, Bongani Dyaba, 25, and Mandlenkosi Gcobo, 22, are charged with stabbing to death Bennie Woychie, a "good Samaritan" farmer from Kei Road in Eastern Cape early last month.

The protesters, all Kei Road residents, were transported to the court on the back of a truck provided by Woychie's niece, Charmaine Tessedorf.

The B courtroom was fully packed with the protesters, while others stood outside.

The angry crowd demanded that the suspects should be denied bail.

They carried placards which read: "We do not want murderers in Kei Road."

One of the residents, Thobeka Mtyakhulu, 48, said she came to show her support to the Woychie family because the murdered man was "a helper to the community".

Woychie was wellknown among the black community for repairing watches, which earned him the nickname of "Mr Watch".

He also provided the community with "relatively cheap" transport, Mtyakhulu said.

The protesters claimed that the suspects had been robbing Kei Road residents.

These sentiments were echoed by Peter Badi, 34, who said that the suspects had been "robbing us of our belongings.

"I'm very moved and hurt about what they have done.

"We do not want killers in our society," Badi said to loud applause from the crowd outside the court.

Awonke Simandla, 22, who had been shouting insults at the suspects outside the court, told Sowetan that "they [suspects] should be sentenced to life."

The case was postponed to March 2 for a formal bail application.


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