Court dismisses torture claims

2013-09-17 23:18


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Mbombela - The police did not assault three men accused of killing an Mpumalanga mine worker three years ago, the Nelspruit Circuit of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday.

Judge Mmonoa Teffo made the judgment in a trial-within-trial on Tuesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

"After listening to all the submissions regarding this matter, the court is satisfied with the State's evidence.

"All the statements from the accused and the pointing out at the crime scene were made freely and voluntarily, without any undue prejudice," Teffo found.

Isaac Sebokuboku Phala, 29, Calvin Tjatjie, 24, and Tshepo Seloane, 24, are accused of murdering Madingwana Max Matlou, 43, and robbing him of his Samsung cellphone in Mashishing on 22 August 2010.

The cellphone was later sold to Cash Crusaders in Emalahleni.

Phala, Tjatjie and Seloane have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

They told the court the police had tortured them to confess to the crime and forced them to do the pointing out at the scene.

Teffo ruled that all the confession statements, the pointing out of the crime scene, and albums of the photos taken during the process were admissible as evidence.

The defence team accepted the judge's ruling.

Teffo postponed the case to Thursday for trial.

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