Families gutted by 'racist' incident that left one of the victims dead

Assailants seek bail after brutal attack

Assailants seek bail after brutal attack.
Assailants seek bail after brutal attack.
Image: 123RF/skycinema

The three Mpumalanga men arrested for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting two men with an iron pipe, resulting in the death of one, have been remanded in custody by the Carolina magistrates court on Monday. 

According to the Mpumalanga police, in August a manager at the Carolina Spar, William Wimpie, 32, assistant manager Hannes Terreblanche, 29 and security guard, Obi Nortje,32, allegedly kidnapped, locked in a storeroom and beat to a pulp, Thulani Joseph Sibanyoni and his friend, Thabiso Sibanyoni (not related). 

They were charged with murder, kidnapping and assault with an intention to cause grievous body harm. Their bail hearing was postponed to October 19. 

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said:  “On that fateful day, it is said that the three men were driving in a vehicle when they stopped upon noticing two males aged 22 and 35. Allegations state that the two were then forced by these suspects into their vehicle and were taken to a storeroom where they were severely assaulted with an iron pipe as a form of punishment for allegedly insulting their colleague.

“The matter was reported to the police and the victims were taken to the hospital as they had sustained serious injuries. One of the victims related the gruesome story to the police and a case was opened, but unfortunately, he later succumbed to his injuries on 1 September 2020. The other survived,” said Hlathi.

Thulani’s niece Lindikuhle Mshweshwe told Sowetan that her uncle was a breadwinner who didn’t have a permanent job.

“We are traumatised. We are wondering what my uncle did to these men to be locked inside the storeroom and be beaten for three hours. My uncle is a victim of racial hate. We are told this was not the first incident to happen in that store, so we are waiting for the police to do their job and hope the justice department will not let us down,” Mshweshwe said.

Hlathi would not comment on how long the men were locked in the storeroom, saying that it formed part of their investigation.

Ward 22 ANC chairperson Sandile Thela said the trio must be denied bail.

“We want justice to be served ,” said Thela.

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