One of the men accused of killing a civic leader in Marikana in 2016 by hacking him to death and drinking his blood denied knowing the victim or any of the State’s witnesses.
Aubrey Seitsang, who appeared in the North West High Court sitting in Mogwase for the murder of Sabata Petros Chale in Marikana near Rustenburg, testified that he first heard of the murder when he was arrested on December 12, 2016.
“I never heard of anyone killed before my arrest,” he told the court.
Seitsang said a councillor in Marikana West had called people to meet at the Marikana police station after the officers had used live ammunition to shoot at people.
“I was off duty and went to the police, I did not see anyone armed. I only saw people with placards or posters,” he said.
The State alleges Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Herbert Baqhesi, William Nyenyane, Samson Gqwetani, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana killed Chale, 39, at Marikana West on December 8, 2016.
The case against six others – Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) councillor Napoleon Webster, Aphindile Pungone, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa and Luvo Soyizwaphi – was discharged by the court, as there was not enough evidence against them to secure a conviction.
Chale was allegedly killed by the group over the allocation of low-cost (RDP) houses in Marikana. He was hacked with spears and pangas. He sustained several stabbed wounds. The court earlier heard that his attackers drank his blood after he was killed.
According to a postmortem report, he died due to multiple injuries and sharp-force trauma.
Seitsang told the court he saw State witnesses for the first time in court when they testified. He also disputed that he was known as ‘Mashantela’ – a name state witnesses referred to him as.
He conceded under cross-examination that a medical report did not indicate that he was injured or assaulted. During his bail application, Seitsang had claimed police officers had beat him up after his arrest to such an extent that he urinated blood.
Chale’s mother, Joyce Chale from Botshabelo, in the Free State, said she wanted justice for her last-born son.
“They killed him like a dog, I want justice for my son. Six others have been discharged on this case. I want to see what happened to the rest,” she said outside the court.