Indictment tells a tale of killing, planting guns

2012-06-22 00:00

THE state’s case relies mainly on evidence that the officers allegedly tampered with crime scenes to “cover up” their unlawful actions, by planting firearms with obliterated serial numbers next to the bodies of the dead.

This was done to create the impression that their lives were in danger when they reacted to a crime or apprehended suspects.

This was revealed in a summary attached to the provisional indictment presented in court yesterday.

The decorated policemen who now find themselves on the other side of the dock are accused of killing suspects instead of arresting and bringing them to court for their guilt to be established.

“In some instances, the accused did not have a case with evidence against the suspects. Their operations were mainly at night. The deceased would kill the suspects, plant a firearm next to them and allege they were being attacked,” read the summary.

Information from a witness in a Melmoth case where several members of the Biyela family were killed is included in the summary.

Richard Mhlekiseni Biyela said he was woken up by a bang at his door in the Debe Reserve in Melmoth on November 23, 2008.

He said police then entered his room, broke windows and pointed firearms at him. He claimed he was dragged out of the room, made to lie on his stomach and assaulted. Biyela said he clearly noticed a number of policemen moving around in the homestead and he heard gunshots.

He identified some of the accused as being among the officers who were at his homestead.

Biyela alleged that the men assaulted his brother’s wife and he was made to move around the homestead to view the dead bodies.

“As he moved around the homestead, he saw his 17-year-old son Khanyisani Biyela lying dead in one of the rondavels, in a pool of blood and a firearm was planted next to his body. It is at that stage that he looked around and saw his property was damaged and he also saw Velaphi Bongani Biyela lying naked in a pool of blood outside his rondavel,” the summary reads.

The policemen also stand accused of murdering alleged crime kingpin Boyzie Mkhize Mbonambi and his alleged accomplices Jabulani Bhengu and Dumi Mgobhozi.

It was reported that the men were shot and killed in Umhlanga after police, reacting to a tip about an impending robbery at Gateway shopping centre, allegedly came under fire from the men.

Those reports said the police (now the accused) had positioned themselves on the M4 near Gateway and the three were spotted driving towards the shopping centre. They were allegedly flagged down by the police but opened fire and drove towards Phoenix, allegedly hijacking a car and driving towards Somerset Park. Police pursued them and two were shot, while Mkhize fled and hid in a dustbin, but blew his cover when he shot at officers.

The state, however, alleges that Bhengu had been driving in Durban North when the accused shot and killed him before planting a firearm next to him.

The officers then went to Umhlanga, where they shot and killed Mgobhozi and again planted a firearm next to his body.

“Boyzie was in his house when he heard gunshots being fired and he ran onto the adjacent premises and hid himself inside a dustbin. The accused approached the dustbin, [and] fired shots through the dustbin fatally wounding him,” reads the statement.

A semi-automatic pistol with obliterated serial numbers was placed next to his body.

Reports said that Mbonambi and his alleged gang were linked to several armed robberies, hijackings and murders.

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