S.Africa: Lion-victim scared with airgun
- From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
[Last night on TV news, they said that the marks on the deceased's skull
could also have come from a panga [machete]... We will see as this trial
develops, what evidence comes out. So far, it seems to be blacks being
brought in to testify against this white guy. I am curious to see what
the white guy admits to or says, when he gets to the stand. I think he
did say initially, he is going to say nothing because this is not a free
and fair trial. Jan]
Phalaborwa - A "no-name brand" airgun was indeed the weapon pointed at
her from the tree murder victim Nelson Chisale was tied to in January
this year, a domestic worker testified on Wednesday.
"This is the firearm I referred to," Thuli Siwele told the Phalaborwa
She was giving evidence in the trial of three men accused of feeding
Chisale to lions after assaulting him on a Limpopo farm.
Siwele was brought in from the witness protection programme for a second
time to take the stand in the trial.
The accused, Mark Scott-Crossley, Richard "Doctor" Mathebula, and Simon
Mathebula (no relation) have all pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
In her evidence-in-chief on Tuesday, Siwele told the court
Scott-Crossley's son brought him the weapon which she later saw pointed
in her direction as she turned to a shout to "look-out" when she went out
to hang up dishwashing cloths.
She immediately ran back inside.
When the boy returned to the house he was laughing, Siwele, told the
court on Tuesday.
He asked her: "Thuli, what were you running away from?"
She did not answer him.
"I put it to you that this is an air-gun, or commonly called a
pellet-gun," Scott-Crossley's defence counsel Johann Engelbrecht SC
suggested, after pointing out that the make of the weapon was not known.
"I don't know. To me it's just a firearm," replied Siwele.
The air-gun was handed in as an exhibit, as were the hiking boots
Scott-Crossley was wearing when he allegedly kicked (Chisale) on the side
of his face.
According to Robert Mnisi, another witness under protection, this
happened as Chisale lay injured, tied to a tree.
Mnisi was originally arrested along with the other three, but later
agreed to testify for the state.
People in court got off their seats as he demonstrated the kick, with the
flat of his shoe against the head of a court official, while under
cross-examination by Richard Mathebula's counsel, Mathews Kekana.
Also handed in as evidence was the Leatherman supertool Mnisi alleged
that Scott-Crossley used to cut the wires tying Chisale to the tree
before he was loaded onto the back of a bakkie and taken to a lions
enclosure in Hoedspruit.