Forensic experts yet to collect evidence from Carolina Spar after deadly assault, court hears

0
25


Spar supermarket senior employees William Viljoen, Hannes Terblanche and security guard Obi Nortjé.

Nomvelo Chalumbira,

  • Police forensic experts have not yet collected forensic evidence from a crime scene where two men were assaulted.
  • One of the two victims died in hospital after the attack on 14 August. 
  • Detective Sergeant Charles Mokwena told the court he was waiting on forensic experts to visit the scene.

The Carolina Magistrate’s Court has heard police forensic experts are yet to visit the crime scene where two men, one of whom later died, were assaulted last month.

On Wednesday, the investigating officer told the court forensic experts have not visited the Spar supermarket storeroom where Thulani Sibanyoni, 35, and Thabiso Sibanyoni, 22, (not related) were kidnapped and severely assaulted with iron bars and batons on 14 August. 

Thulani later died in Witbank Hospital from injuries he sustained during the attack. 

Detective Sergeant Charles Mokwena told the court forensic experts were informed a while ago about the incident and he was waiting on them to visit the scene. 

READ | Family cries foul after ‘unstable’ relative ‘shot dead by cops’

Mokwena said the three men accused of attacking Thulani and Thabiso allegedly tampered with crucial evidence, including ordering their employees to clean up the victims’ blood on the floor.  

Mokwena testified that on 27 August, Thulani was discharged from hospital after being admitted on 14 August. 

Mokwena said:

On 27 August, both Thulani and Thabiso opened criminal cases against their alleged assailants. Later that day, Thulani’s health deteriorated, he felt weak and could not walk and his head was swelling and oozing a yellowish substance. He was then taken to Carolina Hospital and later transferred to the Witbank Hospital where he later died.

“Doctors said Thulani died because of being hit by hard objects on the head. His skull was cracked. Doctors said they tried draining blood from his head and unfortunately he didn’t make it through the operation and died,” he added. 

Carolina Spar manager William Viljoen, 32, assistant manager Hannes Terblanche, 29, and private security guard Obi Nortjé, 32, stand accused of the crime. The three men have applied for bail.

Mokwena said Thulani and Thabiso were allegedly kidnapped and taken to the store by the accused after a female employee claimed they had insulted her. 

Information

“Viljoen received information that one of his employees was insulted and threatened by the two victims. He then ordered that the victims be traced and brought to him. Viljoen also participated in tracking down the victims with his vehicle. The victims were kidnapped and taken to the storeroom where they were assaulted. 

“After being assaulted, Thabiso was ordered to carry Thulani who could not walk and was bleeding from his head. Thabiso later dropped Thulani on the streets and summoned help,” Mokwena alleged. 

He added Thulani and Thabiso did not commit any offence that warranted the assault.  

Mokwena claimed he had strong evidence against the accused. 

“Should they be granted bail, they might intimidate witnesses who are known to them. Should they be released, there will be an outrage and Spar could be attacked by angry community members.”

Meanwhile, Viljoen, Terblanche and Nortjé told the court they intended pleading not guilty because they did not commit the offence. 

The trio is facing charges of murder, assault to cause grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.  

They claimed they could not afford bail of between R2 000 and R5 000. 

The accused promised should they be granted bail, they would relocate from Carolina to other areas and would not interfere with State witnesses. 

The case was postponed to 12 October.