Death by spade in sugar cane

Masoka Dube

Masoka Dube

A Mozambican national, who allegedly killed his colleague with a spade after accusing him of stealing his wages, appeared in court on Tuesday.

The suspect appeared in the Tonga regional court, near Malelane, Mpumalanga.

He was remanded in custody pending his next court appearance on January 18.

The suspect is accused of killing an unidentified man in December and burying him in a sugar-cane field at Ngongolo farm, where they worked.

He was arrested the day after the incident in Tonga.

Superintendent Thulane Mnisi said yesterday that the suspect, the victim, and an old man received their salaries and went to the compound where they were staying.

But the suspect lost his money.

"He then accused the victim of stealing his money and assaulted him with a shovel," Mnisi said.

Mnisi urged employers to get all vital information regarding identification before employing people, especially foreigners.

"The community should also try to ask strangers about their background before accommodating them.

"That will help the police to trace their relatives if they are missing or dead," he said.

The old man, who is an eyewitness in this case, told the police that the suspect ran away after burying the victim.

He called the neighbours who alerted the police.

The body was exhumed the next day. The body was badly injured with a wound to the head.

The body has been kept in a government mortuary since December because his relatives are unknown.

It is reportedly one of fifteen bodies that will be buried in a mass grave next week in a pauper's funeral.

l Another Mozambican appeared in the Tonga regional court to face charges of murder and escaping from custody.

Anthony Mathebula, 26, is accused of killing Simon Ngomane of Tonga. Ngomane was stabbed to death in April.

They were allegedly fighting over a woman who also worked at the Vandros farm near Malelane.

Mathebula was arrested in Kaapmuiden and escaped from the Tonga police station before being rearrested in Tonga on Wednesday.

Mathebula was also remanded in custody pending his next court appearance on January 18 for trial.