Head in freezer: Cop tells of threat

2012-03-07 00:00

APART from a human head in a blue dish, police also recovered a frozen black leather jacket, CDs, a bucket of faeces and a snake from a freezer in France township last January.

This evidence emerged yesterday at the trial of Roger Thusi (30), who is charged with the murder of 18-year-old Loyiso Siyabonga Jokweni, whose head was found in a freezer at the home of Thusi’s girlfriend, Santo Princess Ndlovu, on January 28, 2011.

The rest of Jokweni’s remains were found by police floating in a river near France on January 16, after he was reported missing on December 26, 2010.

Thusi has pleaded not guilty and will deny all knowledge of the head, his attorney, Kelvin Singh, has told Acting Judge M.T. Ncube and assessors.

The court yesterday entered into a “trial within a trial” to determine whether or not an alleged confession made by Thusi to police is admissable as evidence.

Thusi alleges that he was assaulted by police and forced to sign the confession. He alleges he has no knowledge of the contents of the confession.

The policeman who found Jokweni’s head in the freezer at France, Captain L.S. Zimu, said Thusi was never assaulted by him or any other policemen, or members of the community.

Zimu added that he had explained all Thusi’s legal rights to him in terms of the Constitution.

Singh said Thusi will allege that Zimu opened the fridge and showed him the head, saying: “Here are your things”. He also alleges that he was slapped on his upper body by various policeman in the presence of his girlfriend.

This was denied by Zimu.

Zimu said Thusi’s girlfriend had told him that the goods in the fridge were “Roger’s items”.

He said a crowd began gathering outside while they were in the house and Thusi’s girlfriend asked for protection.

He said he did not know how neighbours became aware of what was happening but said it was clear that “they knew”.

Zimu also told the court of an incident when Thusi initially appeared at the magistrate’s court where the accused allegedly threatened him by making a sign as if cutting his throat.

Singh said Thusi will deny he ever threatened to kill Zimu.

The state alleges in its indictment that Thusi and a traditional healer from Mafakathini killed Jokweni for body parts in the belief this would “cause them to become rich”.

The traditional healer allegedly grabbed Jokweni and made him inhale muthi that caused him to fall asleep, carried him to a river and then decapitated him. He also allegedly cut off Jokweni’s penis and testicles and put the body parts into a dish.

The rest of the body was thrown into the river.

The state alleges that Thusi and the traditional healer performed certain rituals with the body parts, before Thusi took possession of the head, which was to cause his business to prosper.

The traditional healer named in the indictment, Mduduzi Manqele, was also charged with the murder last year, but the charge was later withdrawn against him due to insufficient evidence linking him to the offence.

The case is proceeding.

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