A farmworker and her lover appeared in the regional court in Ficksburg this week on charges of murdering the farmer she worked for and with whom she was allegedly sexually involved.
Barry Baars was murdered on his farm near Ficksburg in the Free State over two years ago.
Angeline “Angie” Nthabiseng Ledwaba (40), who was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship with Baars, and her lover, Abel Eric Phalatsi (32), appeared in court on Tuesday, charged with Baars’ murder.
With them in the dock were Thabiso Johannes Motaung (45), alleged to be one of Ledwaba’s former lovers, and Mpho Daniel Hlalele (37).
Halele was formerly the driver and personal bodyguard of the speaker of the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality.
They are accused of murder, alternatively conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
HIS LOWER JAW WAS GONE, THEN TWO SHOTS IN THE CHEST AND ONE IN THE NECK, BUT THE FIFTH SHOT CAME FROM BELOW. AS IF SOMEBODY WANTED TO SHOOT HIM BETWEEN THE RECTAL AREA AND HIS SEXUAL ORGANS
state prosecutor Johan de Nysschen
According to the state’s summary of the material facts, Ledwaba, who lives with Phalatsi, was at “all relevant times involved in a sexual relationship with the deceased [Baars]”.
Baars was murdered on October 30 2017 on his farm Daskop, about 18km outside Ficksburg.
He was shot five times with a 9mm pistol.
“His lower jaw was gone, then two shots in the chest and one in the neck, but the fifth shot came from below. As if somebody wanted to shoot him between the rectal area and his sexual organs,” state prosecutor Johan de Nysschen told City Press’ sister publication, Rapport.
According to cellphone data belonging to the four accused, there is alleged to have been “extensive contact between the accused before and after the murder”.
“Ledwaba and Motaung, in particular, had contact with each other on the day of the murder. Motaung and Hlalele also phoned each other at various points throughout the day. Phalatsi and Motaung were in contact again shortly after the murder,” reads the summary.
Cellphone data also allegedly places all four of the accused on or near the farm on the night of the murder.
According to police statements, Ledwaba is married to a third man, from whom she is estranged.
It is alleged that Baars had gone to fetch Ledwaba from the Caltex petrol station in Ficksburg on the night of the murder.
According to police statements, upon arrival at the farm, they immediately went to Baars’ bedroom, where he asked her to wash herself while he took drugs.
When Ledwaba came out of the bathroom, Baars was already in a “trance” and he asked for oral sex.
When Baars was told about the strangers
Ledwaba claimed that, while they were busy, she heard a vehicle in the yard outside and she peeked through the curtains.
She warned Baars that she saw strangers, one “bald” white man with a beard and “three masked black men”, but he allegedly reacted only by saying: “F**k them.”
She was so scared that she went to hide in the laundry room.
The men entered the house, shouted at Baars and asked him where the money was. He swore at them, right before Ledwaba heard shots go off, she claims.
It is understood Ledwaba then ran to the home of one of her family members in Rosendal, about 30km away.
She returned to the farm the next day to work, which is when she discovered the body of her employer and raised the alarm.
Ledwaba was arrested shortly after the murder, but the case was withdrawn for further investigation.
Phaladi Shuping, the National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson for the Free State, said in December that the investigation had ground to a halt at that stage because the investigating officer had retired.
After a private investigator was appointed by the family, the case was taken up by De Nysschen and warrants of arrest were issued for the four accused.
During the bail application on Tuesday, advocate Tebogo Lawrence Manye appeared on behalf of the four.
He argued that Hlalele and Motaung were close family and that explained the telephone calls between them.
De Nysschen denied this, saying that on the night in question, Hlalele and Motaung had spoken to each other 22 times. After the murder, they contacted each other only six days later.
The bail application was postponed to March 26.