News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday September 19th 2018

Accused SANDF soldier denies murder


Taking the stand in his own defense in a murder trial, suspended South African National Defence Force (SANDF) member Thamsanqa Dikqacwi denied ever assaulting deceased Andile Ndabambi in an alleged vigilante violence, the Western Cape High Court heard yesterday.

Denying the State’s allegation that he kidnapped deceased Ndabambi and two other men from their Khayelitsha homes and transported them to Philippi, 28-year-old Dikqacwi told presiding Judge Ashley Binns-Ward that he never transported the deceased in his car.

Ndabambi said on the day in question, on July 16, 2011, he leant his white Volkswagen to a friend.

It is the State’s allegations that Dikqacwi, his co-accused Thando Abrahams and Luzuko Duma acted with a common purpose by kidnapping and murdering Ndabambi, and attempted to murder Zolani Ntliziyombi and Lwando Somdaka.

The State contends that the accused suspected the victims of stealing a police uniform belonging to the sister of Dikqacwi’s colleague, Sandisiwe Ntliziyombi.

Zolani, who is brother to Sandisiwe, was a main suspect in the stealing of the police uniform.

Sandisiwe allegdly told Dikqacwi of their suspicions and he, along with Abrahams and Duma, forced the suspected thieves to an open field in Philippi where they were assaulted and residents were incited to beat them in an act of vigilante violence. Ndabambi died of his injuries.

Dikqacwi admitted in his chief testimony that on the day in question he had gone to Zolani’s house and spoke to him briefly about the stolen police uniform when he went to give Sandisiwe her wallet, which she left in his car the previous day.

When he went to Zolani’s home he was in the company of Abrahams and Duma, but the pair did not go inside the house, Dikqacwi testified.

On arrival at Zolani’s house, he said he saw a “crowd” standing in front of the house and when he questioned Sandisiwe about it, he was told the crowd, compromising of community members, was suspecting Zolani of selling cellphones.

“I asked her (Sandisiwe) to show me her younger brother (Zolani).  I spoke to him (Zolani) in the house and he told me he did not do anything,” said Dikqacwi, adding that he left immediately.

About an hour later, while he was waiting for accused Abrahams to do a haircut at a local barber shop in Philippi, a man which Dikqacwi described as “Sazi” came with Zolani at the barber shop and borrowed his car.

Sazi was with two of his friends and they were questioning Zolani and Somdaka about break-ins in Khayelitsha, Dikqacwi told the court.

“Sazi started assaulting Zolani,” said Dikqacwi.

He said that was the last time he saw the deceased, Zolani and Lwando until the next day when he was called by police that they wanted him to come to the police station because Zolani and Lwando were arrested and they had told the police that they were being driven in his car.

Dikqacwi said the police had told him telephonically he was “suspected of a murder of someone who was in my car”.

Ndabambi’s lifeless body was discovered next to Mandalay train station.  West Cape News has learnt that Ndabambi’s blood stains were found at the boot of Dikqacwi’s car.

The case continues… – Sandiso Phaliso

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