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Three burned pal to death over sale of car - court told

By Olebogeng Molatlhwa | May 21, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THREE men burned their friend to death because of an argument over money.

According to the charge sheet at the Johannesburg high court Nkosinathi Tshabalala, 27, was stuffed into the boot of a car that was then doused with petrol before being set alight.

The assault took place at the Doornkop cemetery near Dobsonville after he was kidnapped and assaulted with a brick on the night of April 11 2009.

His pals - Lifa Joel Phungwayo, 31, Griffiths Setjila, 33, and Thamsanqa Ngceba, 33 - were remanded in custody at the Johannesburg prison this week. Their trial, which was to have begun on Tuesday in the Johannesburg high court, was postponed to September. They will face charges of kidnapping and murder.

According to court papers the accused "acted in furtherance of a prior criminal agreement. It is not known when and where the agreement was entered into or who all the parties thereto were, but it is alleged that it existed at the least prior to and for the duration of the commission of the offences in question".

Tshabalala's best friend, Siphiwe Mngomezulu, who was present at the court, told Sowetan that the accused "gave Nathi (the deceased) a van to sell but he could not sell it as he was arrested".

"They put pressure on him to come up with the money that was agreed on," said Mngomezulu. "When he could not deliver, they decided to kill him."

The state is expected to call 14 witnesses, including a man who was with Tshabalala on the night of the slaying, medical staff and forensic pathologists.

Tshabalala was to have wed his longtime girlfriend Zandi Ntebe two weeks before he was killed. He was allegedly assaulted by Setjila outside a nightclub in Dube, Soweto, at about 12.30pm. The other accused joined in the assault.


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