An Ethiopian businessman, Mr Getchew Bulamu (28), who owns a spaza shop in Muswodi-Dipeni in the Niani area, testified in court that the three Radzuma brothers had robbed him of his vehicle and groceries at gunpoint in August 2019. Photo: Silas Nduvheni.
The trial of the Radzuma brothers continued in the Limpopo High Court last week, causing some drama when Judge Thogomelani Tshidada appealed to one of the witnesses to walk around the courtroom and identify the people who had kidnapped and robbed him.
Simon, Percy, and Ndivhuwo Radzuma stand accused of the murder of SAMWU officials Timpson Musetsho and Roni Mani in 2019. They also face numerous counts of robbery. Monday’s hearing focused on the robbery charges.
During Monday’s appearance in Thohoyandou, the judge asked Mr Getchew Bulamu (28), an Ethiopian-born businessman, to identify the suspects. Mr Bulamu owned a spaza shop in Muswodi-Dipeni in the Niani area. On 8 August 2019, he was driving his vehicle with groceries from Sibasa to his business premises when he was robbed of his vehicle, some cash, and groceries.
“You can move around the courtroom and identify suspects (people) who have robbed you, your vehicle, money, and groceries for your business. Pointing suspects could help this court as part of evidence of how robberies in aggravated circumstances have caused harm to some businesspeople around the Vhembe District,” said Judge Tshidada.
Without wasting time, Bulamu pointed out Simon Radzuma, Percy Radzuma, and Ndivhuwo Radzuma, who were seated on the bench in the courtroom.
“I remember on the day of the incident I was approaching Hayani hospital near Makwarela Township when a vehicle blocked me in the road, and three men confronted me. They ordered me to lie down and tied up my legs and hands with cable ties. I was so frightened,” said Bulamu.
After the men robbed him of his vehicle and belongings, he was dumped in the bushes outside Makwarela. Bulamu did not know where he was but crawled to the nearby road, where he was later assisted by a passerby.
He was taken to the nearest police station, where he opened a case. He only heard two months later that his vehicle had been found in the bushes, but by then it had been completely stripped of parts.
The legal representatives of the Radzuma brothers, advocates Gundo Lidovho and Ntsako Hlongwane, then cross-examined Bulamu, saying that the brothers would testify that they had not been around Makwarela on the day of the incident. Bulamu replied that he stood by his word and that the three accused were the ones who had robbed him that day.
As the time of our going to press, three more Ethiopian businessmen from around the Vhembe District were expected to testify as witnesses.
News - Date: 23 November 2023