Murder accused claims torture, conspiracy

2012-05-10 22:14
Pretoria - The man accused of murdering Coin Security director Jaco Pretorius after a robbery at the Irene Village Mall in 2009 claimed on Thursday that he was the victim of a conspiracy.

Zwakahle Mavundla, 29, of Joubert Park in Johannesburg, testified in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that he had not been at the mall that day.

He said he was standing innocently waiting for someone at a bridge near the mall when he was suddenly forced to lie down and was arrested.

He said evidence by witnesses that he had been part of a group which robbed a jewellery store in the mall and fired shots at Pretorius's car while running away from the scene was not true.

Mavundla said he was waiting for a friend when he saw three men running towards him and heard three shots. He realised two of the people had firearms and ran to hide under the bridge because he was scared.

Mavundla said he was standing under the bridge when security officers and some white people pointed firearms at him and told him to lie down.

"They said I'm acting cleverly [sic]. They started assaulting me and said I would point out my friends," he testified.

Denies evidence

"I explained to them that I was actually waiting for someone, but they would not listen to me and continued assaulting me."

Several State witnesses testified that they followed Mavundla from the scene of the robbery to the place under the bridge where he was arrested.

Witnesses told the court Mavundla had pointed a firearm at them and had tried to stop passing motorists by pointing the firearm at them before he was apprehended.

Mavundla denied the evidence of three policemen that he was taken directly to the Lyttelton police station.

He said he was instead taken to the parking lot at the mall where he was continuously assaulted for over an hour and asked where his friends were.

He claimed people took photographs of him with their cellphones while he was at the mall.

Electric shocks to genitals

A large group of policemen then took him to a garage where they gave him a firearm and told him to handle it, put a tube around him and assaulted him, demanding that he point out his friends.

He claimed that he then thought of the friends with whom he played snooker in the evenings and told his tormenters he would point them out.

He said he was taken to another garage in Johannesburg, where a tube was again put around his face.

After his friends were arrested, all of them were taken to a place where they were smothered with a tube, water was poured over them and electrical shocks were applied to their private parts.

He was taken to the police station only after 19:00, although he was arrested in the morning.

Mavundla pleaded not guilty to 10 charges ranging from murder and robbery to assault.

The State asked the court to reject his evidence as improbable and argued that the evidence directly implicated Mavundla and painted a clear picture of what happened that day.

Judge Jody Kollapen will deliver judgment on Friday.

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