Sabata Petros Chale died a horrible death in Marikana, the North West High Court heard today.
“He was hacked on the head with a panga, they kept hacking him, he was no longer running, but walking. They shot him with something I do not know in the stomach and his intestine spilled out,” a witness testified in the High Court sitting in Mogwase.
The witness, who cannot be identified and is in witness protection, told the court she saw Chale chased by a group of about 200 armed men.
“I saw Aubrey [Seitsang] hitting him with a panga on the head, blood spritzed, it sprinkled on me and the chairs we were sitting on outside [the house] with Millicent. Sabata went inside the house as the door was not closed, the group swore at him and he came out of the house, he was hacked and died three houses from mine.
“They dipped their fingers in his blood, some scooped it with their hand and drank it, they also put it in a bottle and left with it,” she said.
She became emotional when defence attorney Eric Marx showed her a photograph of Chale.
Marx wanted her to view the photograph and state whether she saw intestines protruding. “Why are the intestine not leaking under the T-shirt?” he asked.
The witness replied that she did not know, but said she had seen his intestines coming out.
“I am not feeling right. I cannot continue…” she said.
The court adjourned for her to regain her composure.
Marx said the witness had conceded earlier that she was shocked and confused about the incident: “Madam I put it to you that you are confused, you were so shocked that you cannot remember what you saw.”
He took her through her statement to the police and her evidence in chief: “In your evidence in court you mention only two names, Napoleon Webster and Aubrey Seitsang, that they hacked Sabata, yet in your statement to the police in December 2016, you mention Aubrey, Napoleon, Roger, Tolo and others…Why are you now mentioning Aubrey and Napoleon?” he asked.
She replied that men in Marikana do not use their real names and changed their names frequently.
“I am sure I know Aubrey and Napoleon, the other I know them by sight they do not used their proper names and give you a name today, tomorrow they will give you another name. The only names I gave to the police were Aubrey and Napoleon.”
He also pointed out that in her evidence she said, Chale came out of the house on his own after the group swore at him, while in her statement to the police she said the group dragged Chale out of the house.
Marx put it to her that his client would deny being present when Chale was killed.
The State alleges Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi, Napoleon Webster, William Nyenyane, Aphindile Pungone, Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Luvo Soyizwaphi, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana hacked Sabata Petros Chale, 39, to death in Marikana West, on December 8, 2016, allegedly over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses at Marikana West Extension.
Doctor Moeti Isaac Siko, who conducted an autopsy on Sabata Petros Chale’s body, told the court Chale was stabbed several times.
The men pleaded not guilty to a murder charge, which the state alleges was premeditated.
The trial was postponed to Thursday, when defence advocate Stuart Wilson is expected to cross examine the witness.