Murder case postponed after accused reported Covid-19 symptoms

28 July 2020 - 14:43
By Mandla Khoza, mandla khoza AND Mandla Khoza
Mpumalanga Division of the High Court.
Image: Mandla Khoza Mpumalanga Division of the High Court.

The trial against seven men accused of fatally shooting a farm manager and injuring his female companion during a robbery has been postponed because one of the suspects has reported Covid-19 symptoms. 

Sifiso Happy Madonsela, 33, Solomon Msimango, 32, Raul Mhlanga, 29, Derrick Makamo, 24, Oscar Johannes Chauke, 37, Andy Henry Mahonga and Fannie Mandla Mkhabela,38, are accused of killing Deon de Bruyn and shooting three times a 25-year-old woman who survived and managed to see the accused during a robbery at Kamesisi farm in Komatipoort, Mpumalanga. 

The incident took place on July 17 2018 where the accused went to the farm and allegedly robbed the deceased and his wife of money and cellphones. 

The seven suspects have not been asked to plead on a charge of murder, conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, two charges of pointing of a firearm, robbery with aggressive circumstances, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunitions and attempted murder by the Mbombela division of the high court.

Before the trial could resume on Monday, Mkhabela said he had a sore throat and was coughing which were Covid-19 symptoms which led to him to be tested. 

“My throat is sore and I have problem breathing and I’m coughing,” said Mkhabela through his lawyer. 

“On Monday the accused [Mkhabela] complained about sore throat and coughing which are coronavirus symptoms. The court therefore suggested that he be tested… The accused has been placed on isolation after his test. The case was postponed to August 4 for trial,” said spokesperson of the National Prosecutions Authority Monica Nyuswa.