Cop a liar - prosecution

2014-11-13 20:32
Nelspruit, with the Mbombela Stadium.(Felix Dlangamandla)

Nelspruit, with the Mbombela Stadium.(Felix Dlangamandla)

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Nelspruit - An Mpumalanga policeman was called incompetent on Thursday and accused of making a forged statement in a murder case.

Warrant Officer Ezekiel Mahunge was being cross-examined by senior State prosecutor Ansie Venter about a statement he took from Adrian Sithole on 2 January 2010, during a trial-within-a-trial at the Nelspruit Regional Court, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"I put it to you [that] this statement is a forgery and fraud. You gave it under oath and it was taken on 2 January 2010, when its entry in the investigation diary was on 31 December, three days before being taken," Venter said.

"Is it not also prerequisite that a person must sign next to a place where he made mistakes? After you made a false entry into the investigation diary, you proceeded making the statement," she contended.

"You most definitely did not take this statement as you describe it. There is also no proof the witness never signed it."

Pleasure Ngobeni, Solly Zitha and Ilinah Magagula are on trial on charges of murder, robbery, malicious damage to property, theft and assault allegedly arising from a fight about cattle.

Mahunge testified that he interviewed the witness in his office at Acornhoek police station.

"Each family claimed the cattle belonged them. There was fighting. I did not investigate the case, but got the information from an eye witness as he was an important witness," he said.

Venter said a Colonel Britz, the former commander of the Organised Crime Unit and the investigating officer in the case, would also dispute the statement.

Not a forgery

She said the unit became involved after family of the deceased complained to the minister of police about the incompetent handling of the case.

"Members were charged and one was convicted," she said.

Mahunge maintained that the statement was not a forgery.

When he spoke to Sithole no murder was mentioned. "What surprises me is that he says he never made it, or signed it," Mahunge testified.

Asked by the defence if he could identify the witness in court, Mahunge said he could not. He also did not know where he was.

Magistrate Andre Geldenhuys postponed the case to 21 January for more testimony.

Read more on:    saps  |  mbombela  |  crime

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