Teen: Witness heard single shot

2012-08-01 18:26
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Johannesburg - A single shot rang out just before teenager Thato Mokoka was shot dead allegedly by a student constable, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg heard on Wednesday.

"This shot was separate to the six gunshots that were directed at Thato... I thought this shot went off to frighten Thato. I'm not sure where it came from, but it was close by,'' said a 15-year-old witness who testified in camera.

The heavily pregnant girl was with Mokoka, another boy and girl when the incident occurred on 14 February this year.

Advocate Kenneth Manyage standing for accused student constable Sipho Mbatha told the court this shot was mentioned in Mbatha's statement.

It was alleged the constable was on one knee, searching Mokoka and trying to get him to lie still when he heard the first gunshot.

He then tightened his grip on his R5 rifle and that was when he fired the shots that hit Mokoka, said Manyage.

The witness shook her head as Manyage read the statement.

Earlier she had told the court that the policeman who shot Mokoka placed the gun next to his body then ran away.

''He didn't walk away, he ran'', she said.

It is alleged two boys accompanied by two women came with the police looking for Mokoka, alleging he was part of a gang called the BWA and that Mokoka had a gun.

''I heard one of the boys [who cannot be named] say Thato had a gun while we were still inside the shack,'' said the witness.

The court heard one of the boys did not get along with the deceased.

''He didn't like Thato. He was jealous because Thato was always around girls. He didn't like me because he proposed to me and I turned him down,'' said the girl.

The witness confirmed Mokoka was part of a group of friends who called themselves the BWA (Boys With Advices).

Earlier she broke down, saying she knew what she had seen that night.

On Tuesday, she identified Mbatha as the one who had placed his foot on Mokoka and pulled the trigger.

In her statement filed after the incident, she said the policeman who fired the shot was dark, around 1.75m tall, and had a big belly.

On Wednesday, she said although she was not sure it was Mbatha, the description she gave of the shooter after the incident fitted that of Mbatha.

Mbatha pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against him, claiming he was bending over to search the witness and get him to lie still when the gun accidentally went off.

Outside the courtroom, Mbatha met the 15-year-old witness. He reached out to her and gave her a hug before she rushed off.

The State will be calling its third witness to the stand.

The trial continues.

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

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