Mpuma nurse testifies in vigilante case

Mbombela - An Mpumalanga nurse testified in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Monday against an ex-municipal manager implicated in a vigilante murder.

Delfina Ndlovu, a nurse at Barberton General Hospital, was testifying in the murder trial of former Mbombela local municipality manager Bruno Vilane, 47.

Vilane is accused along with his son Nhlanhla Vilane, 23, Andile Lawrence Masuku, 20, Zwelithini Welcome Tsela, 22, and Makusile Mahlangu, 29.

They are accused of assaulting and setting alight suspected thief Benjamin Ncongwane, 35, on 25 December 2009.

The five have pleaded not guilty to murder.

Ndlovu told the court Ncongwane died from third degree burns.

"The accused arrived at the casualty centre at about 08:30 and informed us to assist a patient.

"There were two other men and the injured man was at the back covered with a blanket. He had sustained burn wounds from his head to the legs," said Ndlovu.

She told the court she lifted him and took him to a ward.

"I then asked accused what had happened. He said the person poured petrol over himself and set himself alight. He and the other people then left the hospital," she said.

After the men left, Ncongwane explained exactly what had happened and who his attackers were, before he succumbed to his wounds.

Coert Jordaan, defence for the accused, argued there was no police identification parade for the nurse to identify Nhlahla Vilane as the one who arrived on that day.

Magistrate André Geldenhuys postponed the case to Thursday for the investigating officer and other witnesses to testify.

The five accused are out on R5 000 bail each.