Charges dropped against Van Stadens

Adam and Leanne van Staden.

All charges were dropped against a couple from Hazyview accused of attempted murder.

Adam and Leanne van Staden (45) appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on charges of attempted murder, pointing of a firearm and assault GBH.

The case relates to their former employees, Ncobile Mlimi and Agnes Mokoena, who had reported to the police on March 3, 2015 that the Van Stadens had locked them in a cold storage room, electrocuted them, sprayed them with pepper spray, and hit them over the head with a firearm.

Mokoena also claimed that Adam had made his dog bite her.

The claims were made after the couple accused them of being accomplices in a burglary at their business, Ukukhanya Funerals in Hazyview.

According to the charge sheet, a robbery occurred at the funeral home on March 2. The next morning the couple gathered the staff and searched all their cellphones.

Two of the women were found to have the same number on their phones, which they had called just before the robbery occurred. They were then made to take polygraph tests – both failed.

Afterwards, the women claimed to have been seriously assaulted by the couple in the storeroom, where they were supposedly locked up for 90 minutes.

According to eyewitness testimony by David Khumalo, another employee, all staff had their phones searched on the day in question. He stated that he had seen Mlimi and Mokoena at the taxi rank waiting for transport home not long after their polygraph tests. He said the women were talking and smiling and had no visible injuries.

Spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, Monica Mnyuswa, told Hazyview Herald that the state withdrew the charges after correspondence with Mlimi and Mokoena.

Mlimi had stated she had forgiven the couple, and Mokoena got a job overseas and could not attend court proceedings.

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