Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

16 May 2023

The seven (7) suspects who murdered Coka brothers appeared before the Evander Magistrate’s Court on 15 May 2023. 

The trial is heard by Evander Magistrate Court due to load shedding which was affecting the trial from proceeding in Middleburg.

The accused are Daniel Cornelius Malan (38), Cornelius Lourens Greyling(26), Othard Johan Klingenberg (53), Ignatius Michael Steynberg (31), Zenzele Mzikayise Patrick Yende (48), Andries Pienaar (32) and Werner Potgieter (48).

The alleged suspects are appearing before court in connection with the murder of Mgcini Coka and Zenzele Coka. 

The seven accused are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, obstructing the course of justice and contravention of the firearms act. 

On the fateful day, it is alleged that residents who resided at the farm were aggrieved by certain issues which they felt needed to be addressed by the new owner after drastic changes were made since the passing of the previous owner.

The incident took place on the 09 April 2021 at the Pampoen kraal farm in Mkhondo Municipality.

The seven are currently out on bail with their ongoing trial regarding the matter after all pleaded not guilty.

Eric Hlatshwayo took the witness stand giving evidence of the events which took place on the 09th of April 2023. 

Hlatshwayo testified that on the day they were outside the gate of the farm when a commotion started between deceased No1 and two farm owners. 

Upon realising that a fire arm was taken out by suspect No 3 (Othard Johan Klingenburg), deceased No 1 tried running away when he was shot from behind.

Hlatshwayo further testified that after deceased No 1 was shot from behind, suspect No 3 went to where he fell and shot him straight in the head.  

The trial is booked for the entire month at the Evander Magistrate court.

The defence cross examined Hlatshwayo and on the witness stand and he revealed that during the commotion which was at the gate during the fateful day, deceased No 1 punched at Mr Moolman which the defence argued why he had not revealed such evidence during his evidence in chief. 

Hlatshwayo therefore responded that he was not asked such a question, so he didn’t see the need to reveal it. 

He further emphasized to the defence that the deceased only threw one punch, thereby trying to run away when he saw a gun being taken out before being shot at. 

The defence argued that the deceased used a stick to attack Mr Moolman at the gate of the farm but Hlatshwayo stood his ground, that the deceased was half naked during the incident and there was no weapon in his possession.