The seven men who are on trial for the murder of the brothers Mgcini Amos Coka and Zenzele Coka on the farm Pampoenkraal in the area of Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, began this week in the High Court in Middelburg in Mpumalanga.
The men all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them on Monday.
Daniel Cornelius Malan, Cornelius Lourens Greyling, Othard Johan Klingenberg, Ignatius Michael Steynberg, Zenzele Mzikayise Patrick Yende, Andries Pienaar and Werner Potgieter stand trial on charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, obstruction of justice and breach of the Act on Control of Firearms.
The trial continues on Tuesday.
After the Coka brothers’ death in April 2021, hundreds of protesters marched to Piet Retief during the hearing of the accused’s bail application.
The brothers were shot dead on 9 April 2021 during an incident on the Pampoenkraal farm in the vicinity of Dirkiesdorp after a group of protesters intimidated and assaulted farm workers on the fateful day. Several farmers rushed to the farm that day to assist the farm workers.
The protesters apparently appeared aggressive and attacked farmers who responded to the scene with, among other things, sticks. Several farmers were also injured in the incident.
Rhewal reported at the time that in a video recording of the events that preceded the fatal shooting, it appears, however, that the farmers did not act aggressively, as the state claims.
The footage shows protesters arriving at the farm and chasing farm workers away. It also shows how the first deceased gets involved in a confrontation with his brother, who was working on the farm at that stage.
However, the video does not depict the events during the shooting.
At the time, the state argued during the bail application that the farmers had acted in common purpose on the day in question when they rushed to Pampoenkraal.
Magistrate Sam Fankomo found that there were no grounds to substantiate this claim and bail was granted.
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