Dead man’s sister tells of scary police raid

2014-08-08 00:00

A WOMAN yesterday told the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court of her fear when she was woken by police officers banging on her door, almost forcing it open.

Sindisiwe Luthuli, the sister of Nhlanhla Lala Luthuli, said the officers turned her home upside down looking for a firearm and her brother.

Luthuli, of Mpumalanga township, said the banging on the door came at about 2 am on the morning of October 29, 2010.

“They were banging the door, shouting that they were police and I must open. I opened the door and they stormed in. Other officers could not enter as they were so many police inside the house. I was asked about the whereabouts of my brother,” she said.

Luthuli is giving evidence in the trial of Pinetown Crime Intelligence Unit and Inanda Tactical Response Team officers who are charged with her brother’s murder, malicious damage to property, assault and pointing of a firearm.

She said she was not sure what was happening until the officers told her that they were looking for a firearm belonging to a member of the CIU who was robbed at his house.

“Outside the house police officers in uniform and others in civilian clothing with bullet[proof] vests were standing, guarding a person that was on the floor. I did not know who he was,” she said.

Luthuli said she opened another door to the main house and managed to identify two of these officers. She pointed to Captain Thulani Magagula and Constable Phumlani Mkhize as two officers who were among the police in the house.

“There was a light in the kitchen that helped me to see them while they were searching in the kitchen pots. Others were in the bedroom searching. Everyone in my family was shocked …”

Luthuli said she was scared of the police, who were threatening to assault her. Her brother’s body was found at a bus stop near his home later that day.

The trial continues.


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