State rubbishes Moyo's evidence

2012-06-19 14:11
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Pretoria - Evidence given by and for Bongani Moyo was "highly improbable", the Pretoria Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Werner Gibson said Moyo was guilty of escaping from legal custody and he urged the court to pass a guilty verdict.

He rubbished claims that Moyo left the court, allegedly on crutches, in August on the instructions of the investigating officer Frederick Erasmus.

"The State finds it highly improbable that the same officer who was soliciting for information [from inmates] tells Moyo to escape," said Werner.

He asked why Moyo did not "scream for help" when he was allegedly threatened by the policeman.

"That is the most passive response [to a death threat] in history. This court is in awe of the accused's bravery," said Gibson.

Moyo's defence, led by lawyer Donald Somo, has consistently held that Moyo was threatened with death by Erasmus.

In May, Moyo called two of his co-accused in the serial armed robbery cases to testify for him about the August escape.

Malfunction

Khumbulani Sibanda and Thabani Sibanda said they were put in a holding cell inside the court premises, while Moyo was left sitting on a bench near the cell.

They said Erasmus informed them that Moyo would be killed if he did not disclose information relating to a taxi.

The matter stalled at midday when the recording devices used in the court malfunctioned.

After the matter was transferred to another courtroom, the same technical problems were experienced again and the matter returned to the initial court.

Earlier, Somo told the court it was necessary for Moyo to "walk out" of the court in August as his life had been threatened.

Somo said his client had not "escaped", but had "walked out", allegedly on crutches, on the instructions of the policeman.

He said Moyo had no intention of escaping until he was approached by Erasmus.

"It was a reasonable decision for him [to escape] considering the manner he had been threatened, as witnessed by his co-accused who have testified in this court," Somo said.

The case continues.

Moyo, Khumbulani and a third person face another charge of attempting to escape from the Pretoria Central prison earlier this year.

They allegedly used prison overalls to scale a perimeter wall, but were seen jumping from the roof of the double-storey prison building by a street vendor, who alerted prison warders.

In March last year, Moyo escaped from the Boksburg prison, where he was being held for bank robberies. He was re-detained at the Beitbridge border post almost three months later when he re-entered South Africa from Zimbabwe.
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