Mpuma court rejects torture claims

2013-07-16 22:02

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Johannesburg - An Mpumalanga murder accused was not forced into signing a confession, the Nelspruit Circuit Court ruled on Tuesday.

A Sapa correspondent reported that prosecutor HE Mayinga told the court that Lucky Smanga Nkosi was never threatened and did have his rights read to him.

"It was read three times to the accused. Firstly, it was read twice by Constable Ndlovu on 7 January and by Captain [Freddy] Magagula on 9 January, when he took the statement from him," Mayinga told the court.

Judge Sipho Sithole accepted the statement as admissible.

"The constitutional rights are read before the actual statement. On this form, there are rights spelled out, about legal representation and the right to consult a legal practitioner of your choice," Sithole said.

"As opposed to these rights, you put your signature, including that of Capt Magagula, but you still tell the court your rights were not read out."

Nkosi, 39, appeared for the murder of Gloria Mdluli, who was shot four times at her home in Masoyi on 27 September, 2009.

According to the statement read out in court, Nkosi confessed that he and his co-accused Bhudi Gama, Wanda Masuku and Jan Mamabolo, were paid R10 000 to kill Mdluli after Masuku's mother accused her of bewitching Masuku's father.

Nkosi told the court that the arresting officer, a Constable Ndlovu, ill-treated him after his arrest at Kabokweni police station and forced him into confessing.

Previous court case

"Ndlovu never read my constitutional rights to me. When Captain Magagula took the statement, he also never read my rights. He threatened me and asked another constable to get the tools, which I believed would be used to torture me."

He said he did not told the magistrate when he appeared in the district court about the torture.

"I only told my legal representative and also asked to be moved from the police station cells to prison," Nkosi testified.

Nkosi said he knew Ndlovu through a previous court case in which he was accused of killing Ndlovu's brother.

"I knew Constable Ndlovu. He used to attend court when I was on trial for the murder of his brother, Eric Ndlovu [who was killed in 2002]."

The trial continues.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mbombela
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