Forensics link man to 2006 killing

2013-05-16 16:14
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Mbombela - Blood samples taken from a T-shirt and pieces of glass link Sunday Surprise Mashego to the scene of a murder in 2006, the Nelspruit Circuit of the North Gauteng High Court has heard.

Three Pretoria forensic laboratory experts found sufficient agreement on this evidence to link Mashego, 30, to the murder of tavern-owner Josaya Themba Joma, of Lihawu in Msogwaba, near Mbombela, on 8 February 2005, according to a Sapa correspondent.

The court heard this evidence on Wednesday afternoon, before the matter was adjourned to Thursday.

Prosecutor Dora Ngobeni told the court on Wednesday that experts would not be called to testify, and asked the court to accept their affidavits supporting the evidence.

"The defence has agreed and accepted the DNA tests as evidence, which were collected from the crime scene, and also from the accused," she told the court.

Delays

Mashego, who was arrested in 2006, has pleaded not guilty to four charges of murder, housebreaking with intent to commit robbery, and illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Delays with the forensic tests had previously caused the matter to be provisionally withdrawn from the court roll, but it was reopened when they were completed.

Chief investigator Warrant Officer Andrew Thwala testified that Mashego was linked to the offences following the arrest of Ndumiso Shilubane, who was found in possession of the murder weapon.

"After we were informed about the suspects' whereabouts, we pounced on them sitting under a tree, and Shilubane was arrested after he was found with the pistol," he told the court.

"Shilubane said it was given to him by the accused to hold it 30 minutes before we pounced on them at Msogwaba on 13 February 2005," Thwala said.

The men tried to run away when police arrived, and two of them escaped.

Blood samples

Thwala traced Mashego and arrested him in 2006, after following up on information from Shilubane.

After arresting Mashego, Thwala said he took him to a clinic in KaNyamazane, where blood samples were taken.

"I sealed the blood samples, a bullet taken from the deceased, together with a cartridge from the confiscated pistol, the pistol, glass pieces with blood samples from the scene, and a T-shirt.

"All were sent to the Pretoria forensic laboratory for testing," Thwala testified.

Shilubane told the court Mashego asked him to hold the pistol for him before the raid.

"We stay in the same area and I have known the accused for more than 10 years. We ran together when police came. I ran away as I was afraid. I was in possession of the firearm.

"After I was arrested and the pistol found, I told police it belonged to the accused," he said.

Mashego, who is serving a four-year sentence for armed robbery, denied this.

"I don't know anything about the firearm and I was not with Shilubane on that day," he said.

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