November 26 2007 at 11:58PM
Two men accused of breaking into an elderly woman's house and beating her with a sjambok appeared in the Grahamstown High Court on Monday.
The woman's skull was fractured in the assault.
Khayalethu Harmaans, 23, of Tuinplaas, Kirkwood, and David Hanabe, 32, of Moses Madiba, Kirkwood, pleaded not guilty before Judge Elna Revelas.
They are accused of breaking into the home of Joan Schonken, 72, of Kopkrap Farm, Kirkwood, on November 19, 2006, and robbing her of R88 000 worth of household goods, including a Toyota Cressida valued at R70 000.
The state's indictment alleges the two men, after breaking into the house by sawing through the burglar bars on the bedroom window, knocked Schonken to the ground, kicked her and struck her with a sjambok.
The bespectacled Schonken, who is now 73 and walks with the aid of a crutch, told the court she was a widow, and lived alone on the farm.
"That night I was watching television at about 10.30pm when I heard a noise from my bedroom. I went to the bedroom and was about to phone the security people, when I saw two men standing in my bedroom," she said.
"They demanded cash, weapons and wanted to know where the safe was. They kicked me and struck me with their fists. Then they began beating me all over with a sjambok."
The trial continues. - Sapa