Cops fail to trace witness

2011-10-05 00:00

THE high court in Pietermaritzburg heard yesterday that police are failing to trace one of the state witnesses in the murder trial of Raisethorpe businessman Irshaad Basheer.

The witness is a section 204 witness. Sithembiso Mchunu (21) and Njabulo Ncwane (24) from Umlazi, south of Durban, are on trial for the murder of Sweet Galore store owner Basheer who was killed on August 20, 2008, during a robbery at his store in Old Greytown Road.

They also face charges of robbery with aggravating circumstance of Thembisile Mweli in September 2008 and unlawful possession of prohibited semi-automatic firearms and ammunition.

Warrant Officer Mbongeni Dladla yesterday told the court they took a statement from the section 204 witness, Jeffrey Mhware, who is a Malawian, and he was released but now they can’t trace him.

Mhware was arrested along with both Mchunu and Ncwane, he appeared in court during the first appearance but then turned state witness, testifying how they planned to rob the businessman as well as the house of Mweli.

Warrant Officer Dladla said they robbed Mweli and fled in a white BMW. They were arrested in Delhi Road in Raisethorpe, in possession of a cellphone belonging to Mweli. They were also found with an unlicensed 9mm Norinco pistol and seven live rounds.

Dladla also said the two men robbed Basheer’s shop, taking money, airtime vouchers and cigarettes. Judge Yvonne Gcaba adjourned the case until tomorrow for further state evidence.

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