Alleged cop killers appear in court

2015-04-07 16:48
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Johannesburg - Two men, believed to have been behind the N3 shooting which left two officers dead and another injured, appeared before the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Sandile Nyathekazi and Vika Nzama, both 38, face two charges of murder, another of attempted murder, one of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and another of conspiracy to commit robbery.

According to the charge sheet, the pair were arrested on Thursday.

The two men were alleged to have been part of a heavily armed gang which opened fire on Constables Steven Mafanelo, Maisha Mafokoane and Mthokoziseni Myeza near the Modderfontein off-ramp last Sunday.

The officers had stopped what was said to be a "suspicious-looking" vehicle on the side of highway and were gunned down before they could approach the car.

Mafokoane and Myeza were killed in the shooting, while Mafanelo was injured.

Nyathekazi, who was wearing a white sweater, denim jeans and flip flops, had appointed Welcome Ndlovu as his attorney.

Nzama appeared confused as he told the court he too wanted Ndlovu to be his lawyer. Ndlovu however, indicated that he had not had previously received directions from Nzama.

Through an interpreter, Nzama told magistrate Pieter du Plessis that he wanted a private lawyer for whom he would pay.

Prosecutor Sogendha Moodly requested that the matter be postponed for the State to perform an ID parade and for the pair to be kept at the Germiston holding cells.

Du Plessis said the ID parade should be done within the next week. He gave permission for the pair to be held in Germiston and informed Nzama of the importance of appointing a lawyer soon.

The case was postponed to April 14.

Assault claim

Just before proceedings were adjourned, Ndlovu interjected and informed the court that his client had been assaulted during his arrest.

He claimed that Nyathekazi had sustained internal injuries to his ribs. He also had injuries on his wrist.

Ndlovu requested that his client be seen by a district surgeon.

Du Plessis had no issues with him being examined by a doctor.

Nzama, who was dressed in denim shorts, a jersey and takkies, walked behind Nyathekazi. Looking concerned about his legal woes, he tried to speak to Ndlovu as he made his way down to the cells.

Meanwhile, a third man allegedly linked to the shooting and who was arrested in Durban, appeared in a KwaZulu-Natal court on Tuesday.

A policeman, who spoke to News24 on condition of anonymity, said the suspect had been charged with the illegal possession of a firearm.

He was to be brought to Gauteng to appear before the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday, where he would face additional charges.

The officer said the case would most probably be postponed to April 14 for the man's case to me merged with the other accused.

During the shooting, one of the gang members was shot and wounded.

The man, a Zimbabwean national, was abandoned on the scene by his gang who made off with the dead and injured policemen's firearms.

Police on Monday confirmed the injured suspect had since died.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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