Murder accused assaulted: testimony

2012-11-07 22:10
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Pretoria - A man accused of killing a Pretoria North woman claimed on Wednesday that he was assaulted and told to point out crime scenes.

"I was handcuffed my Lord... my legs were [also] cuffed.

"[Police] came with a plastic bag and put it over my head and then I suffocated," Sipho Masiqa told the North Gauteng High Court.

"[Police] removed it and told me I killed those people."

He was testifying in a trial-within-a-trial on whether the pointing out of crime scenes he did shortly after his arrest in August 2010 should be admitted into evidence.

Masiqa, 34, Raymond Matshaba, 27 and Bradley Molefe, 34, are accused of murdering Thifhelimbilu Mashau, her eight-month-old baby Avheani, and her four-year-old daughter Adivhaho in their home in July 2010.

The three have pleaded not guilty to the murders and to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, and rape.

The State alleges they strangled the two children and robbed their mother of her car and other goods at their Theresa Park home, before taking her to Ga-Rankuwa, where they raped and murdered her.

Masiqa said he was held in what police called the "waarheid kantoor" (the truth office) at the Soshanguve police station when he was assaulted and when he denied the murder, police officers put the bag back on his head.

"Eventually I agreed with them.

"I was no longer able to endure the plastic that was covering my head, as I was suffocating."

He said police took him to the veld on 5 August and told him to lead officers there later that evening.

"They said I must bring the officers here and show them where I dumped the body."

Staged robbery

He also testified on how Molefe was beaten by police to admit to the murder.

However, during cross-examination, the State prosecutor put to him that he had volunteered other information prior to the assault and the police stood to gain nothing by assaulting him.

Masiqa admitted he took police to Mashau's house on his own account.

He testified he had been there before to help Mashau and her husband plan a staged robbery.

"The plan was that I should remove the TV and the car and keep it at my place."

He said the payment for this was R10 000.

Earlier on Wednesday forensic expert Major Shamil Govan testified that Masiqa's DNA had been found on a cigarette butt at the house after the murder.

"The chance of someone else having this DNA is one in 6.8 trillion people," he told the court, adding that the world's population was about seven billion.

"We expect to see this DNA profile again if there were 1 000 earths. The DNA is the same in all areas...and it's a match."

Govan also testified about condoms found at Mashau's house.

"Despite multiple analysis of each of the condoms, not enough DNA or no DNA could be found on them."

The condoms tested negative for sperm and blood.

The trial was postponed until Thursday.

Masiqa would remain in custody and Matshaba and Molefe were out on bail.

- SAPA

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