Three Zimbabweans crossed the border to SA to kill a German national

Three Zimbabwean nationals accused of the murder of German tourist Herman Gunter Friedrich Westphal, 74, in Northam made an appearance in court on Monday, as confirmed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo.

Jan Thabonga Moshabi, 36, Abstein Madzvimbo, 22, and Thomas Moyo, 39, are facing charges of murder and contravention of the Immigration Act.

During their brief court appearance at the Northam magistrate’s court, the case was postponed to March 4 to facilitate the arrangement of legal representation for the accused individuals, who are currently in custody.

Westphal had left Botswana on Friday and traveled to South Africa in a Toyota vehicle, arriving in Lephalale on Saturday morning.

NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi provided details of the tragic events, stating that Westphal had offered a hitchhiker a lift, who later assisted in arranging accommodation in North West before embarking on his tour across the country.

The hitchhiker, along with his two accomplices, reportedly tied up Westphal, assaulted him, demanded his bank account PIN code, and stole cash and other valuables from him.

The suspects then removed the vehicle’s number plates and transported Westphal to Northam, where he was further assaulted and abandoned in the bushes.

Security officials discovered a vehicle without number plates and observed Moshabi with bloodstains on his shirt, leading to his arrest at the scene. Subsequently, the deceased’s body was found in the vicinity.

The remaining two suspects were apprehended in the North West on Saturday in possession of some of Westphal’s belongings.

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