Contractor, son on trial for farmer’s murder

Contractor, son on trial for farmer’s murder.
Contractor, son on trial for farmer’s murder.
Image: 123RF/stockstudio44

A 55-year-old building contractor accused of assaulting and running over a farmer with his vehicle has claimed that he did not assault the deceased.

Schalk Myburgh, 55, and his son Schalk Junior, 30, are on trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria for the murder of Muraga Mavula in Brits, North West, in December 2015.

Myburgh told the court yesterday that on the day of the murder, he and his son were returning home from neighbouring Kameeldrift farm in Brits.

“That’s when we came across five men with carcasses of two dead animals next to a gravel road.

“We confronted Mavula and asked him who owned the dead animals,” Myburgh told the court.

Myburgh said an argument broke out and led to a fight between them and Mavula.

“When a scuffle broke out my son and I were pushed to the ground.

“I fell on my stomach and my son fell on his back, I don’t know if he [my son] fell because he was assaulted or because he was simply pushed,” Myburgh told the court.

He told the court that Mavula attacked them, punched his son’s face and bit him in the ribs.

The contractor said he and his son got up and ran to their vehicle intending to leave the scene as they felt threatened by Mavula.

“We quickly rushed into the car and my son switched on the engine and accelerated. But then we heard a slight bang and felt like we were running over something,” he said.

Myburgh said at the time, they did not know where Mavula was as they drove away fearing for their lives.

He said they only noticed later that they had drove over the deceased with both sets of tyres.

Myburgh told the court that he and his son acted in self-defence as they were attacked by Mavula.

He said they were not armed, wearing shorts and soft shoes and do not know how Mavula ended up with multiple blunt force injuries.

He said they only realised that Mavula was dead when they went to report the incident at the police station.

Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela postponed the matter to today.

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