I was buying dagga when hijacking took place‚ says murder accused

Sibonelo Mkhize faces two charges of murder, the second relating to the death of his alleged accomplice. He has pleaded not guilty.
Sibonelo Mkhize faces two charges of murder, the second relating to the death of his alleged accomplice. He has pleaded not guilty.
Image: Jackie Clausen

The man standing trial for the murder of nine-year-old Shallcross schoolgirl Sadia Sukhraj has maintained his innocence.

Sibonelo Mkhize‚ 39‚ spent his second day in the witness box in the Durban high court on Tuesday. He was arrested after allegedly hijacking the car in which the schoolgirl and her father were travelling in May 2018.

He faces two charges of murder‚ the second relating to the death of his alleged accomplice‚ Siyabonga Blose‚ as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances.

On Tuesday‚ a confident and calm Mkhize maintained that on the day of the hijacking‚ he had been on his way back home from purchasing dagga‚ when two men had grabbed him and taken him to the scene of the hijacking where he was assaulted.

"One person came from behind‚ grabbed my arms and locked them behind my back. Another man pulled out a gun‚" said Mkhize.

Mkhize has also emphatically denied even knowing his alleged accomplice.

"I don't even know Siyabonga Blose. All the things you [the state prosecutor] have said are unknown to me‚" he said.

The trial‚ which was set down for two weeks‚ commenced last week with the girl's father giving evidence. Shailendra Sukhraj told the court that he had fired several shots at the car‚ as the hijackers drove away with his daughter still in the vehicle‚ in an effort to stop them from disappearing or harming her.

The matter has been rolled over to Wednesday.

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