Hijacking story in killing

2008-11-06 00:00

Newcastle drug dealer Innocent Mlotshwa (22), who had R13 900 on him when he was fatally bludgeoned and knifed, had tried to hijack three brothers, a detective was told at the scene.

The detective, Inspector Carel Booysen, told the Pietermaritzburg High Court yesterday that he went to investigate a report of an attempted hijacking and one of the brothers accused of Mlotshwa’s murder told him of Mlotshwa’s hijack attempt.

Booysen said accused Basheer Randeree (19) volunteered that he and his brothers Saeed (22) and Yousuf (25) were asked for a lift by Mlotshwa. After Mlotshwa told them where to travel he held a knife at the throat of the driver and demanded their car.

Mlotshwa, Booysen was told, was hit with a baton, and Yousuf grabbed the knife. Booysen was told that Mlotshwa got out of the car and tried to run away, but he was hit and stabbed.

Booysen said he warned them of their rights as suspects and they seemed shocked as they implied that they were victims.

Booysen said he recovered R13 900 from Mlotshwa’s pocket.

A cellphone operator told the court that at least seven calls were made between Mlotshwa’s cellphone and one used mainly by one of the accused on the day of the killing. In all 144 calls were made between them.

A witness, Dean-Ashley Appelgryn, who lives near the scene of the killing, said he heard cries of, “Please don’t kill me” three times at the scene of the killing. He went to the scene and spoke to some of the accused.

One of the brothers lay on the ground crying. The others asked him to go with them to a hospital, but he pushed them away.

They persuaded him to get into their car and they drove away from the scene.

Appelgryn took down the car’s registration number. The brothers returned later and spoke to policemen who had been summoned to the scene.

Appelgryn said he had previously seen Yousuf at a nightclub.

Advocate Christo van Schalkwyk, counsel for Basheer and Saeed, said that Basheer will allege that he had “stupidly” tried to hide the fact that Saeed was a drug addict. It had been established that Saeed was heavily involved in the drug underworld.

Advocate Kobus Booyens SC said that if an addict on hard drugs such as cocaine went cold turkey he could behave strangely and not know what he was doing. Booyens said he had heard that Basheer was “talking nonsense” and was told to keep quiet.

Asked by Judge Achmat Jappie if there was anything unusual in the suspects’ behaviour or appearances, Booysen said they evinced shock when they were told they were suspects. They spoke normally, except that Saeed cried.

The brothers have pleaded not guilty to the murder. The case continues today.

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