The Grahamstown High Court on 10 June 2021, sentenced three males for murder, attempted murder and aggravated robbery. The three accused Luzuko Msweli (30) and Mabuthi Bless (35) were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for attempted murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery. Nkosinathi Sokutu was sentenced to 25 years for murder, 15 years for attempted murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery.
On 9 March 2020, a herdsman Bulelani Tshaka (38), at the Spioenkop farm in Alexandria witnesses the trio trying to steal a weaned calf.
As soon as he noticed that they had seen him, he walked off. They called out to him and he continued to get away, however they managed to catch up to him. They started to assault him by hitting him numerous times with the side of a spade, resulting in him sustaining numerous open wounds in his face, head, body and legs.
He managed to run away and hid in nearby bushes. At this stage he lost a lot of blood and subsequently lost consciousness.
The attackers continued to search for him and went to his flat let where they confronted his female companion, Vuyiswa Mali (28). The accused attacked her, stabbed her and then hung her from a beam with a piece of wire.
The following morning the lifeless body of the victim, Vuyiswa Mali was found by her co-workers. There was still no sign of Bulelani. Later in the day Bulelani regained his consciousness and managed to get to the owner of the farm for assistance.
He was admitted to Port Alfred Hospital and later transferred to Livingstone.
During an intense investigation, Constable Zandile Lindi of the local detectives managed to track and arrest Luzuko Msweli in Alexandria. During an interview and a voluntary confession, Msweli implicated the other accused. When they were arrested, they all elected to make voluntary confessions.
During a testimony in court Msweli gave a blood chilling account of the events. He stated that when they went to the flatlet, Vuyiswa was alone. His co accused took turns to rape her. They then asked her to wash and put on a clean set of clothes. They then stabbed her and then hung her. The crime of rape could not be proven at court, as there was no evidence, due to the fact that they had asked her to wash herself. They were not charged for rape, as this information was only revealed during the trial.
During an interview with Constable Lindi he said, “I would like to thank my officers and colleagues who assisted me during the initial stages of this investigation. I extend my sincere appreciation to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for their continued support throughout the trial. Their guidance has assisted in securing the successful sentence in this case. The witnesses in this case were also extremely cooperative and I thank them for their patience.”
Acting District Commissioner for the Sarah Baartman District commended the young constable for his perseverance throughout the investigation and said, “Constable Lindi, may your diligence and high moral standing proliferate to other young and aspiring investigators like yourself. Continue to serve the SAPS with pride and integrity! We are proud of you.”
Read about more farm attacks here