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Sakhiseni Nxumalo
Senior journalist
2 minute read
25 Jun 2022
11:45

KZN farmer found guilty of murder

Sakhiseni Nxumalo

A Cramond farmer, Edward Philip Solomon (69), who was accused of killing a man during a funeral, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

A Cramond farmer, Edward Philip Solomon (69), who was accused of killing a man during a funeral, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

Solomon was convicted this week by the Pietermaritzburg high court for the crimes committed in December 2017 on his farm in the Cramond area near New Hanover.

Solomon had pleaded not guilty.

He was found guilty for the murder of Mothi Jeffrey Ngubane and the attempted murder of Mondli Lembede on December 30, 2017.

Solomon lived on the farm while Ngubane and Lembede lived in a homestead on the same property.

On the day of the incident, Ngubane and Lembede were part of a funeral procession at the homestead when Solomon interrupted and asked mourners to leave the area.

When they refused to do so, he fired a shot. Lembede was injured and Ngubane died. He then fled to his house.

KwaZulu-Natal’s National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said the matter was adjourned to October 3, for pre-sentencing reports. She said Solomon’s bail was cancelled and he will remain in custody.

During his trial, video footage was played in court as part of the evidence by the state.

In the video, a white-bearded man, believed to be Solomon, can be seen and heard arguing with a group of men believed to be mourners.

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During the argument, Solomon is seen reaching out to his right hip where his firearm was holstered.

The mourners could be heard shouting at Solomon that he must not dare open fire and that they also have firearms.

Ngubane approached and they started pushing each other. The video then ended. The court heard that Solomon then shot Ngubane.

However, Solomon claimed that he was surrounded by a group of men.

He said when he was walking back to the bush, the group walked towards him and Ngubane manhandled him. He believed that his life was in danger. Solomon claimed that Ngubane grabbed his arm. Ngubane’s hand was over Somolon’s hand, which was holding the firearm.

He claimed that Ngubane was trying to take the firearm from him and Ngubane’s thumb was on the trigger as Solomon was holding the firearm. He said during the struggle, he is not sure who, between him and Ngubane, pulled the trigger.