Judge dismisses torture claims

2014-03-04 22:09


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nelspruit - A high court judge has dismissed testimony from a woman implicated in the murder of a 6-year-old child that she and her two co-accused were forced to confess to the crime.

On Tuesday afternoon, Justice Collin Lamont of the Nelspruit circuit of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria told Stella Sibongile Zulu, 49, from Masibekela outside Komatipoort, that her testimony in a trial within a trial could not be accepted.

Zulu and her co-accused, Sifiso Vilakazi, 25, and Thabile Mnisi, 33, have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The three are accused of killing Dimakatso Shabangu, who went missing on 21 April 2009. Her body was found floating in a river four days later.

Zulu testified that she and her co-accused were assaulted and tortured into confessing to the murder.

"A person who was not there [at the murder scene] could not tell how it happened the way you [did]. It is surprising that you said [former Warrant Officer Bongani] Mangane told you not to say anything," said Lamont.

"You told the magistrate that you were not assaulted by police and you told the magistrate that you were assaulted by the community while you insist Mangane told you not say anything about assault."

Lamont was responding to Zulu's earlier testimony that she helped search for Shabangu as she was a member of the Community Policing Forum.

She had said that she was arrested shortly after the child was found but was forced by Mangane to point out the crime scene and say how the child was killed, adding that she was also forced to lie to a magistrate.

However, Lamont dismissed her testimony.

"You told the court that you lied because you were assaulted and scared of torturing. You said you want to make a statement because you regret what you did. You pointed out the crime scene without being forced," said Lamont.

Lamont also told the other accused, Vilakazi, that his statement had different versions while the evidence he gave the court was unsatisfactory.

"The evidence that you have given is not satisfying. You mentioned different versions about the child's disappearance. You said you knew Thabile before the court and you gave a different version," he said.

"You were changing statements. You went with the police and the community.

"In her evidence, Stella Zulu does not show that you went with her. Your evidence is unacceptable; the evidence is not corresponding... In my view, the police did their job in a proper way."

Lamont said he welcomed all the evidence given that confessions were made without force.

The trial within a trial was concluded and Lamont postponed the case to Wednesday.

Vilakazi and Mnisi are out on R3 000 bail while Zulu is out on R5 000 bail.

Read more on:    mbombela

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!


For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.