An emerging Brits farmer phoned his daughter and told her “the whites were killing him” shortly before his wife found his body on a road near their farm, the High Court in Pretoria has heard.
Murdered farmer Muraga Mavula’s widow, Anna, testified in the trial of Brits building contractor Schalk Myburgh, 56, and his son, Schalk Myburgh Jnr, 30, who pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering Mavula and stealing his cellphone.
The state alleges the Myburghs murdered Mavula by severely assaulting him and driving over him in their bakkie. Mavula and two of his sons were looking for a lost goat on the night of the incident, but were allegedly accused of stock theft.
His wife, the mother of eight children, testified that she and her husband had a good relationship with neighbouring farmers.
Her husband had left with three of their children after she came home from work that night, but did not say where they were going.
She was getting ready for bed when her daughter came running in with her cellphone and said “Ma, Ma, Daddy says the whites are killing him.”
She immediately drove to the nearby scene, where she saw her husband lying in the road. His shirt was torn and she could not see his pants. She started screaming when she realised he was dead.
She asked a neighbour, who arrived at the scene with the Myburghs, to phone the police and an ambulance.
The Myburghs admitted there had been an altercation with Mavula but said they had acted in self-defence.
They claimed Mavula attacked them when they confronted him after seeing a group of men loading dead animals on to a bakkie.
Myburgh Jnr said Mavula punched him on the mouth and bit him on the ribs during the struggle. Myburgh Snr said Mavula had bitten him on the hand and landed under him on the ground with someone on top of them during the struggle.
They said they were not armed, were dressed only in shorts, short-sleeved shirts and soft plastic shoes and had no idea how Mavula had sustained the multiple blunt force injuries.
The pair said they only realised Mavula had died after going to the police to report the assault on them. The court will conduct an inspection of the scene today. – firstname.lastname@example.org