Griffiths: Police abused me

2013-12-04 00:00

MURDER accused Thenjiwe Griffiths wiped tears from her eyes yesterday as she testified that she had been abused and assaulted by police, who had accused her of marrying an old man for his money and of kidnapping him, instead of taking her hijacking report seriously.

Griffiths (31) has pleaded not guilty before Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors in the Pietermaritzburg high court to murdering her husband, Allan Griffiths (60), in a staged hijacking on January 20, 2006.

An application by defence advocate Shane Matthews for Griffiths to be discharged at the close of the state’s case was refused by the court yesterday.

Taking the stand to testify in her defence thereafter, she said she had met her late husband in Pietermaritzburg and that he had invited her to visit him at his home in Richards Bay.

She said he had paid her mother a dowry of R20 000 before marrying her in April 2005.

Griffiths alleged that Allan’s family had disapproved, had “interfered” in the marriage and said Allan had wanted to get away from them.

This was one of the reasons they had moved to Johannesburg.

She alleged that on the day of the incident, they were travelling from Johannesburg to Pietermaritzburg when three men hijacked them in the vicinity of Colenso.

She said one of the assailants had made her strip and had tried to rape her. She had escaped when an approaching car interrupted them, and the hijackers drove off with her husband.

Griffiths testified that she was naked on her arrival at Estcourt police station, and alleged that policemen there had come to “look” at her instead of helping her.

She was later given clothes and taken to Colenso police station.

Griffiths alleged that when Organised Crime Unit members Mebra Nzimande and Musa Ndlela arrived to speak to her there, they too abused and assaulted her.

She said they had continually accused her of marrying “an old man” for his money, and would not believe her report about the hijacking.

The case is proceeding.

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