Cop denies threatening Bongani Moyo
Pretoria - A policeman denied threatening to kill jail breaker Bongani Moyo while he was in custody, the Pretoria Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.
The policeman, Frederick Erasmus, told the court he did not intimidate Moyo or his three co-accused following their court appearance in August 2011.
"In conversation with Moyo, you intimidated him with death and even went further to inform him that your African colleague is also intent on having him dead," Moyo's lawyer Donald Somo put it to him.
"That is a total, utter lie," responded Erasmus.
Somo said Erasmus had also spoken to Moyo when he was sitting on a bench outside a courtroom before his appearance later that day.
He had told Moyo to use the opportunity to tell him about a certain minibus taxi driver. If he did not give the information, he would be "finished" when he returned to prison. Erasmus denied the claims.
Somo asked Erasmus how he felt when he saw Moyo sitting on a bench outside court without being handcuffed or in shackles. Erasmus said he was not impressed, but there was nothing he could do about it as it was out of his control.
He said his job was to transport Moyo and his co-accused from prison to court. He said the police officers in court were the ones responsible for him.
The court heard Moyo had not been waiting in the cells with his co-accused before his court appearance in August 2011, as he was injured and on crutches.
After appearing in court, he was sent to the cells with his co-accused, as the court had postponed the case and ordered him to remain in custody. Testifying about the events that led to Moyo's escape, Warrant Officer Simon Ndlovu, who was working in the court that day, said Erasmus went down to the cells to speak to Moyo and his co-accused shortly after the case was postponed and they were taken back to the cells.
He said he saw Erasmus walk to the cells and hand over his pistol. A few minutes later he walked out again.
Ndlovu said shortly afterwards one of his colleagues in the court went down to the cells, but that by the time he got there Moyo was missing.
Erasmus said he learned of Moyo's disappearance from the policemen in court.
Somo asked Erasmus why the cell gate had been left open. He replied it was not his responsibility to lock it.
The trial was postponed until April 2 after the court heard Moyo was not feeling well. His lawyer told the court he had taken medication without eating anything, and was also suffering from dizzy spells.
Moyo is on trial for escaping from prison.
He broke out of the Boksburg prison in March 2011. In August that year he escaped from the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.
He escaped from Pretoria Central prison with two other prisoners on Wednesday, but was caught.