Josias murder trial postponed

The court heard how Josias was chased, assaulted and killed allegedly over a few cigarettes.

FILE: Four men accused of stabbing Emmanuel Sithole to death made a brief court appearance at the Alexandra Magistrate Court on 21 April 2015. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The trial against three men and a minor accused of killing Mozambican national Emmanuel Josias, also known as Emmanuel Sithole, has been postponed to next month.

Yesterday Mthinta Bhengu, Sizwe Mngomezulu, Sifundo Mzimela and a 17-year-old boy appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on charges of murder.

The four have pleaded not guilty to robbing and killing the vendor despite images of his murder being published in the _Sunday Times. _

The court heard from witnesses how Josias was chased, assaulted and killed allegedly over a few cigarettes.

The Mozambican was killed in Alexandra at the height of xenophobia tensions in April this year.

While pictures of his attack have made international headlines, the four suspects accused of killing him have denied any involvement in his murder.

Witnesses have also told the court how their efforts to intervene during the attack were unsuccessful.

More statements are expected to be heard when the trial resumes on 10 July.

SUSPECTS TOOK TURNS IN KILLING JOSIAS

Last month the court heard how the group of men took turns in attacking Josias.

The state's first witness Sibusiso Mnyandu, described to the court what he witnessed when Josias was killed.

Mnyandu said four men took turns kicking and trampling on Josias, adding that one of the accused hit him on his head with a monkey wrench.

He said community members who observed the attack started screaming and some of them even tried to intervene.