Ingrid Oelleman
1 minute read
24 May 2012
00:00

Rowe murder: five accused sack lawyer, granted legal aid

Ingrid Oelleman

FIVE men charged with the murder of Rietvlei farmer Alan Rowe, who was shot dead on the evening of May 13, 2009, have been granted legal aid after firing their advocate...

FIVE men charged with the murder of Rietvlei farmer Alan Rowe, who was shot dead on the evening of May 13, 2009, have been granted legal aid after firing their advocate.

The men — Zakhele Ndlela (31), Mbuso Mabaso (19), Mswawakhe Khumalo (25), Zwelibuyile Mhlongo (30) and Goodenough Ngiba (27) — appeared briefly before Judge Isaac Madondo in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, where it was confirmed that arrangements for their future legal representation had been finalised.

The case was postponed until Monday for the resumption of their trial, which began in May last year.

The men all pleaded not guilty when the trial started and claimed in statements that they knew nothing about Rowe’s murder.

The farmer was shot dead while trying to escape from his attackers, who lay in wait for him when he returned to his farm, Bloemendal, on the night in question.

The state alleges that, after the shooting, the attackers abandoned plans to rob Rowe of his cash and property.

Meanwhile, AfriForum said yesterday it planned to lay wreaths of yellow roses at the police department offices in Pretoria today to honour the known 1 145 victims of farm attacks since 1990. The action is part of the Solidarity Movement’s campaign against farm attacks.

• ingrido@witness.co.za