Farmer Philip Solomon – accused of the murder of former employee Mothiwa Ngubane – has been moved to an isolation wing in Pietermaritzburg’s New Prison after threats to his life.
Advocate Brad Osborne‚ acting for the 65-year-old farmer‚ told Magistrate Fikile Luvuno that his client had been threatened and starved while housed in the awaiting-trial section of the prison.
Solomon‚ who faces charges of murder and attempted murder‚ is applying for bail in the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court.
During the first day of proceedings‚ Solomon recounted his version of how a funeral had turned deadly on December 31. Ngubane‚ who worked for Solomon in the early 1990s‚ had been attending a funeral at a homestead that lies against a hillside on the farmer’s land.
Solomon is accused of trying to stop the burial‚ which led to a heated argument and culminated in the death of Ngubane‚ who was shot three times.
In his statement‚ read in court‚ he said that he had felt threatened by the group of mourners and had drawn his gun to protect himself.
After a lengthy exploration of why he should be granted bail‚ Solomon’s statement revealed his dire conditions while in prison‚ including that he had been confronted by another inmate who had threatened him with a hammer.
He alleged that his life had been threatened on a separate occasion and that staff at the facility had refused to feed him.
Osborne requested that Luvuno rule that he be kept in isolation until the bail application is finalised.
The bail application is expected to continue on Wednesday.