Policeman ‘gave order to shoot’

2013-07-31 00:00

ROADSIDE shooting victim Sibekezelo Ndlovu did nothing to provoke a soldier to fire at him, two eye witnesses to the June 2010 shooting testified in the Mtunzini high court yesterday.

Jabulani Nsibande and Nkosinathi Gumede were together when they witnessed the incident in the Ingwavuma area on June 8, 2010.

Both said they heard someone say; “Shoot, shoot”, in English before Ndlovu was shot and fell down.

Nsibande said the instruction came from the white policeman at the scene.

The two men were giving evidence before Judge Jerome Mnguni and an assessor at the murder trial of ex-Pietermaritzburg dog unit member Morne Croeser and soldier Paul Jeke.

Nsibande said he first saw a maroon bakkie with two other vehicles, one a police van, “driving as if they were chasing one another”.

He heard two gunshots go off and the bakkie stopped at the roadside near Ngcobo’s homestead.

Nsibande said he saw the driver and passenger of the bakkie alight, and a soldier and policeman get out of the police van. “The white policeman pointed a firearm at the driver … the soldier pointed a firearm at the passenger. I then heard the voice of a white man shouting. The voice said: ‘Shoot him.’ ”

He saw the soldier fire a shot and the passenger (Ndlovu) fell down.

When it was suggested during cross-examination by defence advocate Styx Mdladla that Croeser denies instructing anyone to shoot Ndlovu, Nsibande replied it was “obvious” that he would do so.

Mdladla suggested to him that Croeser had not even known there was a second person in the bakkie as the windows were tinted and his focus was on the driver.

Mdladla said Croeser claims that when he heard the shot he unchained his dog and went to check if Jeke was okay. “That was the first time he saw the passenger was shot,” the advocate said.

Nsibande disagreed. “The shooting of the deceased was the decision of accused one [Croeser],” he said.

Replying to state advocate Dorian Paver, Nsibande said Ndlovu wasn’t carrying anything in his hand before he was shot and he’d seen no reason for him to be shot.

He said after the shooting the white policeman assaulted the driver of the bakkie while asking him: “Why are you running away?”.

He further told the court he later saw the white policeman place a screwdriver into the deceased, Ndlovu’s, hand. He’d obtained the screwdriver from a toolbox in the bakkie, he said.

Gumede also told the court that Ndlovu did not have anything in his hands when he emerged from the bakkie and was shot. He demonstrated how Ndlovu alighted and was raising the palms of his hands as if in surrender as he got out.

Gumede also testified he saw the white policeman assault the bakkie driver, but said he was too far away to say exactly what he did.

Gumede said he left the scene to drink water as he was “shocked” by what he’d seen. The two accused have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Sibekezelo Thembinkosi Ndlovu on June 8, 2010, to assaulting Mthokozisi Manganyela (22) and to defeating or attempting to obstruct the course of justice by tampering with the murder scene.

The defence has said that while Jeke admits he shot Ndlovu, he alleges he acted in self defence. The case is proceeding.

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