(Warning Graphic Content) ‘A dead man must be naked’

Mario Nkosi (42) says that he and people living on Thaba Nyoni have an ongoing dispute over goats. They have also had a dispute about land previously and the matter had to be settled in court.

“How can someone claim shares in your business or in your cattle if they did not buy it with their own money or help build your business? It just does not make sense,” says Mr Nkosi about previous disagreements between him and fellow trustees over a piece of land.

On Sunday 20 August he was confronted by two policemen at his house. He identified them as constable Zita and constable Dlamini.

“They said that someone is accusing me of stealing their goats,” says Mr Nkosi. He says that there has been a lot of infighting amongst the trustees in a government awarded farm. The goats are part of the issue. Previous attempts to open criminal cases with the police were unsuccessful because it was ruled to be a civil matter, Mr Nkosi claims.

Mr Nkosi alleges that the police officers called someone and requested them to come to Mr Nkosi’s house so the issue about the goats can be settled.

About 45 minutes later seven cars and bakkies and a group of 20 to 25 men arrived on the scene.
Mr Nkosi alleges that he was assaulted in front of the police officers before one of them, const.

Dlamini, tried to calm the situation. He put Mr Nkosi in a police double cab to keep him away from the angry group of men.

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“At 22:30 that night, const. Zita gave permission for the gang to take me and do as they please. They then handed me over to them,” Mr Nkosi told www.mobserver.co.zafrom his hospital bed.


Mr Nkosi alleges that he was put into the boot of one of the cars and driven to Thaba Nyoni. He identified two people working for Mr Ramaphosa, a Mr Zulu and Mr Morengeni whom he says is a supervisor on the farm, as being part of the group of men that attacked him. Mr Nkosi also alleges that a double cab bakkie, belonging to Thaba Nyoni, being on the scene.

Mr Nkosi recalls the horrific events that has left him hospitalized with 14% burn wounds on his body, with a wound on his right leg, from ankle to thigh.

He says that he was stripped of all his clothes, with the men telling him that a dead man must be naked, whilst doing so. He was taken to a thatched roof building where he was tied with ropes around his neck, arms and feet. Like a bound animal, Mr Nkosi was then tied to wooden trusses supporting the roof.

The men then made a fire underneath him, whilst he was hanging from the roof.

“I was crying and pleading with them. I kept on saying ‘Please forgive me! Please forgive me! That is the last thing I remember. I think I passed out,” says Mr Nkosi.

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He says he woke up in a hospital bed at 03:00 on Monday 21 August. He was later told that a passerby discovered him lying next to the road.

Mr Nkosi says that he is still in excruciating pain. He is expected to return to theatre tomorrow (Tuesday) for doctors to try and repair the damage. Doctors have warned him that there is a big responsibility that he will never be able to walk normall again, due to damage sustained to the tendons in his right knee.

He has since opened a case against the two police officers with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate as well as a criminal charge of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and attempted murder against his attackers.

Mr Nkosi’s friend returned to the scene where he was burnt and got the occupants of the farm to explain to him how he was tied up and burnt. He took a video of their explanations. The men on the video deny being involved in the incident.

An old man explains that he was making a fire inside the hut because the men said that they were cold. A younger man explains how Mr Nkosi was tied to the roof. A third man, hiding behind a corner, confesses to having Mr Nkosi in his boot, saying that he made a mistake to bring him to the farm.

On the video, a skull of an Ankole, a cattle breed from central Africa farmed by Mr Ramaphosa, is seen standing against the hut wall.

Mr Ramaphos’s spokesperson for the Dept Pres, Ronnie Mamoepa did not respond to a media enquiry before going to press.


Jana Boshoff

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