Top cop murder scene was staged, court hears

2013-11-06 23:10
(Nielen Bottomley, News24)

(Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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Pretoria - The crime scene where the body of Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi was found had been staged, the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Gauteng investigating unit commander, Colonel Abednego Shibiri, said even though the cause of death had not yet been ascertained, there were no signs of a struggle between Maswanganyi and his assailants.

"As someone who was being attacked, he would have kicked and the ground around him would have shown. There was no evidence at that scene to show that he had struggled," said Shibiri.

"Even his trousers were not soiled."

Shibiri said police found a condom and some empty condom packets at the scene.

He was opposing a bail application brought by Maswanganyi's alleged killers, Nditsheni Daniel Nefolovhodwe, Ndaedzo Isaac Vele, Tshepo Mosai, and Roger Godfrey Moseki.

The former Johannesburg cluster commander's body was found in a field near the R101, near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, in June.

His hands and feet were bound.

A police patrol found Maswanganyi's abandoned Isuzu bakkie next to the road.

A police uniform and police identification card were in the bakkie, which prompted a search.

On Wednesday, Shibiri said indications so far were that Maswanganyi was strangled.

Shibiri said property stolen from Maswanganyi, including cellphones and a computer tablet, had not been recovered.

He said the police had yet to arrest other suspects believed to have been involved in the crime, and that if released on bail, the four would jeopardise investigations.

Shibiri told the court that Vele’s phone had been "legally tapped" when he pleaded with a sangoma to make his case go away prior to his arrest on 25 June.

Three of the four accused, Moseki, Vele and Nefolovhodwe, were members of the SA National Defence Force.

Members of the police tactical response team, armed with rifles, kept watch inside and outside the courtroom on Wednesday.

The bail application continues on 18 November.

Read more on:    police  |  sandf  |  tirhani maswanganyi

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