South Africa 26.6.2018 07:09 am

Murder accused to testify in Marikana trial

Workers walk past a Lonmin Marikana platinum mine, a site that represents industrial strife in South Africa. Picture: Reuters/Skyler Reid

Workers walk past a Lonmin Marikana platinum mine, a site that represents industrial strife in South Africa. Picture: Reuters/Skyler Reid

This comes a day after it was revealed that an EFF councilor called a meeting shortly before Sabata Petros Chale was hacked to death.

The trial against eight men accused of the murder of Sabata Petros Chale in Marikana near Rustenburg is expected to continue in the North West High Court in Mogwase on Tuesday.

On Monday, three of the men told the court that Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) councillor in Marikana, Phillip Mntombi, convened a meeting at the Marikana police station before 39-year-old Chale was hacked to death.

This was after the police allegedly fired shots at residents in Marikana West RDP also known as Khabangena.

Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha and Herbert Baqhesi told the court that they went to the Marikana police station on December 8, 2016, after Mntombi used a loud speaker ordering people to gather at the police station.

READ MORE: EFF councillor called Marikana meeting before man hacked to death – testimony

State witness Mpumelelo Xakumbisa testified that he found out that the police were in Khabangena to arrest one of the accused Sibonile Sobopha who ran away and the police fired shots at him.

The State alleges that Seitsang, Sobopha, Baqhesi, William Nyenyane, Samson Gqwetani, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana killed Chale on December 8, 2016.

Chale was killed allegedly 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 heard that his attackers drank his blood after he was killed.

According to postmortem report he died due to multiple injuries and sharp force trauma.

The State was expected to cross examine Baqhesi on Tuesday.

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