A South African dentist Jan van Tonder who allegedly beat an unsuspecting Malawi gardener Muhammed Makungwa with a sjambok, could be facing an attempted murder charge, according to Cape Argus newspaper .
Van Tonder, who also serves in the army, appeared at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning on charges of assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, crimen injuria and defeating the ends of justice.
But the case was postponed after prosecutor Nathan Johnson asked for time to consult with the victim to discuss pushing for a charge of attempted murder.
Makungwa, the gardener was late for work in Rondebosch on Sunday morning and was running along Palmyra Road when he said he was almost run over by someone driving a white BMW X5.
“I kept on running and then he tried to drive his car into me,” Makungwa told the Cape Argus earlier this week. “I stopped and he got out and started whipping me with a sjambok. He just went crazy and didn’t give me a chance to explain myself.”
Johnson said Makungwa had sustained several severe injuries and was bleeding from the mouth.
The prosecutor said Van Tonder had been awoken by a sound near his motor vehicle that morning.
When he went to investigate, he saw Makungwa and suspected that he was breaking into his vehicle. “He realised after beating him that he was the wrong person.”
The case was postponed until November 21.
Van Tonder was released by police this week. His lawyer Deon Perold did not want to comment on the case, or allegations that this was a race-related crime.
The gardener’s employer Nadia Kamies told the Cape Argus on Tuesday: “(Mukungwa) is quite scared and nervous… He’s a very gentle person and that’s what has made us all so angry that he had to go through this.”
Kamies said he was staying with her other employee, Oscar Namata, who comes from the same area of Malawi as Makungwa does and got him the job.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :