Three Zimbabwean nationals appeared before the Northam Magistrates Court on Monday on charges of murder of a German Tourist. Jan Thabonga Moshabi (36), Abstein Madzvimbo (22) and Thomas Moyo(39) have also been charged with contravening the illegal immigration act.

It is alleged that the suspects assaulted and killed the 74-year-old German tourist, Herman Gunter Friedrich Westphal at Northam on Saturday.

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The deceased was on a tour from Botswana on Friday. He drove to South Africa in a Toyota sedan motor vehicle and arrived at Lephalale in Waterberg District, Limpopo on Saturday morning.

 Along the way, he offered an unknown male hitchhiker a lift whom the deceased requested to assist with accommodation around North West province before he could proceed with his tour across the country. On arrival at the said accommodation, in Moruleng, the suspect suggested they pass by a liquor outlet where they had a few drinks. That’s when the suspect informed his two friends about the deceased.

The accused and his two accomplices drove with the unsuspecting victim to his [Moshabi] place. Upon arrival, they tied him up and started to assault him while demanding his bank account pin code. They also searched him and took an undisclosed amount of cash and other valuables.

Three foreign nationals appear in court for German tourist murder
Vehicle used by the late Herman Gunter Friedrich Westphal

GERMAN TOURIST MURDER SUSPECTS APPEAR IN COURT

The three suspects removed the vehicle’s number plates and drove with the victim while assaulting him in Northam and using a gravel road. When they reached a certain farm the suspects dragged the victim from the vehicle and dumped him in the bushes.

During the night, the security officials and a member of Rural Safety noticed a suspicious vehicle parked without number plates. They stopped to investigate. That’s when they saw the accused [Moshabi] with bloodstains on the T-shirt and immediately notified the police.

He was then arrested at the scene and later police discovered the deceased’s body in the nearby bushes. The other two suspects were arrested in North West later in the evening. They were found in possession of some of the deceased’s belongings.

The matter is postponed to 04 March 2024 for legal representatives and the accused persons will remain in custody.