Mpumalanga farm murder: One acquitted

farmmurdersThe Nelspruit Circuit Court found Aaron Majawodwa Nkosi, 30, guilty on Tuesday of killing white Mpumalanga farmer Johannes Hendrik Tolstoi Schoeman.

A Sapa correspondent reported that Nkosi’s co-accused Thomas Johannes Nyathi, 30, was acquitted.

The two black men were accused of robbing and kidnapping Gudryn Schoeman, 67, and murdering her 86-year-old husband at Vygeboom Farm, near Badplaas, on the night of December 17, 2010.

Judge Mmonoa Teffo said Nkosi incriminated himself during the pointing out of the crime scene, and that his evidence tallied with the testimony of Gudryn Schoeman.

“Nkosi put himself on the crime scene by pointing out the crime scenes,” said Teffo

He had told Captain Martinus Roussou, from the Hawks in Middelburg, that he was at the farm on December 16.

“You said you climbed next to the roof to the top floor of the house and on the first floor, went through a door inside the house.

“You also pointed to the bedroom where Schoeman was found lying on a bed, and attacked him… your accomplice strangled him on his throat until he was unconscious,” said Teffo.

She said Nkosi had shown Roussou how they waited for Gudryn Schoeman to enter the room and how they attacked her before demanding money from her.

“You pointed how Nyathi searched the cupboards, where keys to the couple’s car were fetched and how you left the farm with the wife on the way to Belfast ATM.

“You even pointed the accident scene at the Carolina R33 road, where the Honda Jazz you were travelling in with Schoeman’s wife had the accident.”

Teffo said that, during a trial-within-a-trial, it became clear that Nkosi had not been assaulted to confess to the crime.

“Captain Roussou testified the interpretation was not met with difficulties. Your rights were explained and interpreted. You never even raised to him you were assaulted during the interview and you even signed the rights document.

“If you did raise any complaint to Captain Roussou, he should have asked you to lay charges against those responsible,” said Teffo.

The judge said Nkosi had claimed he was home that night and had no alibi.

“I am satisfied you were involved in the commission of the crime. You are therefore found guilty beyond reasonable doubt on all five counts.”

She said that although the blood samples taken from the car used in the crime, which later crashed into a wall, matched Nyathi’s, the State had failed to prove its case against him.

“Testimony by Pretoria laboratory Warrant Officer Matome Arthur Manyama stated there was error regarding the CAS number. The CAS number on the sample bag was 37122011, instead of 37122010.

“Although Manyama communicated with W/O Orcilla Loubser to rectify the mistake, Loubser herself did not mention it in her testimony,” she said.

“Due to the fact that a proper procedure was not followed by the police

team, there is doubt about contamination.”

Although Nyathi had been unable to explain how his blood came to be on the car’s bumper, she do not accept the DNA results, Teffo said.

“There is no evidence which positively links Nyathi to the crime and he is acquitted of all charges,” she said.

Nkosi will be sentenced on Wednesday. – Sapa