The Northern Cape High Court heard on Tuesday that murdered Kimberley businessman Piet Els spent 111 days in the high-care unit at Mediclinic Gariep from the day he was admitted on January 24, 2018.
THE NORTHERN Cape High Court heard on Tuesday that murdered Kimberley businessman Piet Els spent 111 days in the high-care unit at Mediclinic Gariep from the day he was admitted on January 24, 2018.
Testimony from the head of emergency unit at Mediclinic Gariep, Doctor Vusi Nokeri, who examined and attended to Els, further stated that they had to ventilate Els for the majority of the time he was in hospital.
Els died on May 15, 2018, after he and his partner were attacked on his farm during the early hours of January 24, 2018.
Seven suspects have been charged with Els’ murder and are currently on trial.
The accused are also facing further charges of robbery and the illegal possession of firearms.
The accused are: Morapeli Rankali, Motlalentwa Qhautse, Lizbeth Ndlala, Oupa Jeffrey Mahomane, Themba Lawrence Maja, Samson Sam Mbokane and Jabulani Wilson Zuma.
Nokeri said that he noted injuries to the face, body and legs of the deceased.
He said he also noticed that the clothing Els was wearing at the time was burnt and that this correlated with the version of events where the deceased indicated that he was attacked and burned with a hot iron.
“The deceased arrived at the emergency unit at 6.20am on January 24, 2018. He was conscious when he arrived and he had another person with him at the time. They told me that they were victims of a farm attack,” said Nokeri.
“I noticed that the top and trousers he (Els) was wearing were burned and they also had blood stains on them. There were moments that Els lost consciousness and it was relayed to me that he also lost consciousness during the attack on the farm. The deceased was admitted to the high-care unit and that was where he spent his entire time during his admission until the day he died.”
Nokeri said the injuries Els sustained were serious and life-threatening, hence he took the decision to admit him to the high-care unit.
“Els had massive swelling and bruising on the right side of his eye. The colour around the eye was blue or black. That showed that the deceased had an internal injury to the head, which most likely was also bleeding.
“There were also two open wounds which I noted on his face, which measured six and eight centimetres respectively. He also had burn wounds on his right leg
which supported his version that he was burnt with a hot iron. Plus, he also had multiple bruises on his body, which showed that he was assaulted.
“There was an indication by his breathing pattern that he suffered blunt trauma to the chest. The left frontal skull was also fractured and there was extensive soft-tissue swelling to the face. The swelling of soft-tissue is an indication that an injury is life-threatening.”
Nokeri said Els’ condition worsened during his stay in hospital.
“His condition worsened on day two of his stay in high-care. His breathing pattern was difficult and his level of consciousness was going down. On days when we tried to remove the ventilator, his condition would get worse. We then decided that he required to be prolonged on the ventilator. We then changed the pipes and ventilated him.
“These measures were applied in order to treat his condition, which was worsening. Unfortunately, he later died from all the chest trauma and injuries he had sustained,” Nokeri said.
The trial continues.