Three in court after murder of German tourist in Limpopo


Three Zimbabwean citizens appeared in the Northam Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of murder and breach of the Immigration Act.

Jan Thabonga Moshabi (36), Abstein Madzvimbo (22) and Thomas Moyo (39) are charged with the murder of a German tourist, Herman Gunter Friedrich Westphal (74). The case was adjourned until March 4 and the accused remain in custody.

Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, provincial spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said Westphal left Botswana in a vehicle on Friday and arrived in Lephalale in the Waterberg district on Saturday morning.

“He offered a hitchhiker a lift and asked him to help with accommodation in the North West before he could continue his tour across the country. On their arrival at the place of residence in Moruleng, the suspect suggested that they stop at a hangout where they drank a few drinks. That’s when the suspect informed his two friends about Westphal.”

The three drove with the unsuspecting victim to Moshabi’s residence where, upon their arrival, they apparently tied up Westphal and assaulted him. They also reportedly demanded his bank details and searched him and stole an unknown amount of cash and other valuables.

“The suspects removed the vehicle’s number plates and drove with Westphal on a dirt road to Northam. He was assaulted and left in the bushes by the side of the road.”

According to Malabi-Dzhangi, security officers and a member of a rural security group were patrolling the area when they noticed the car without number plates.

“They stopped to investigate when they came across Moshabi in a bloodstained T-shirt. The police were immediately notified and Moshabi was arrested at the scene. The deceased’s body was discovered in nearby woods. The other two suspects were arrested later that evening in North West after some of the deceased’s belongings were apparently found in their possession.”