Teen's uncle claims cop assaulted him

2012-08-22 22:35
Sipho Mbatha in the South Gauteng High Court. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Sipho Mbatha in the South Gauteng High Court. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Thato Mokoka's uncle opened a case of assault on Wednesday against student Constable Sipho Mbatha, the man accused of murdering his nephew.

Captain Nondumiso Mpantsha confirmed that Russel Judas Mokoka laid the charge at the Meadowlands police station, in Soweto, alleging Mbatha assaulted him at his home on August 8.

Speaking to reporters at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, Mokoka said Mbatha and several police officers jumped over the fence of his home in Bramfischerville, Soweto.

"They said they were looking for me, claiming I had assaulted Mbatha. Mbatha kicked me on my leg," Mokoka said.

Mokoka said even though the police did not have a warrant of arrest, they took him into custody and kept him in the Johannesburg Central police station cells. He was released the next morning after paying R2 000.

He said he did not know if he had been formally charged, and that he now lived in fear.

The docket of the assault case would be handed to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

Ipid senior investigator Mantsha Rapheshu said he could not comment on the matter.

"We will examine the evidence and then decide to what to do next," he said.

It was not clear whether the case would affect Mbatha's murder trial.

Mbatha told reporters at the court that he did not know anything about the accusations, and that he could not comment because the matter was sub-judice.

On 8 August, Mokoka and Mbatha were involved in a brawl outside the courtroom. Each accused the other of harassment.

Mbatha allegedly shot dead Thato Mokoka, 16, during a raid at his home in Soweto in February. Police went there with two boys and two women who had claimed Mokoka was part of a gang and that he owned a firearm.

A witness has told the court Mokoka was part of a group of boys who called themselves the Boys With Advices (sic), but she denied that they terrorised local residents.

The gun Mokoka was alleged to have had was not found.

Mbatha has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. He claimed his R5 rifle accidentally went off when he bent over to search the teenager, who was lying on his stomach.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sipho mbatha  |  thato mokoka  |  johannesburg  |  soweto
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