Xenophobic killing trial begins

The trial of three blacks and a minor alleged to have murdered Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole was set to start in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The murder of the Mozambican national made world headlines when the attack was captured by a Sunday Times photographer at the height of the xenophobic violence that swept through South Africa two months ago.

According to the report, three South African men stalked Sithole, cornered him, stabbed him and left him for dead.

The photographer who captured the event as it was unfolding in Alexandra, in the north of Johannesburg, rushed Sithole to a nearby hospital but he was declared dead on arrival.

All of the accused have pleaded not guilty to the murder charges.

One of the accused is a 17-year-old who will be tried behind closed doors, under the Child Justice Act.

Their last appearance at the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court was held in camera because of the presence of the minor.

Mthinta Bhengu, Sizwe Mngomezulu, Sifundi Mzimzela and the minor were alleged to have stabbed Sithole in the streets of Alexandra on April 18.

It was believed that they had taken cigarettes from the street vendor without paying.

They allegedly attacked and killed Sithole when he demanded payment.

Bhengu had earlier indicated through his lawyer that he wanted to enter into a plea bargain.