Cops faked my DNA, claims Rhodes Park accused

2016-12-05 15:12
The Rhodes Park accused back in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

The Rhodes Park accused back in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg - The third suspect in the Rhodes Park murder and rape trial seemed annoyed during his cross-examination in the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Monday morning. 

Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32 claimed that three officers assaulted him and forced him to make statements and take part in a pointing-out at Rhodes Park, Kensington. 

A trial-within-a-trial was held to decide the admissibility of his testimony.

Lawrence, Admore Ndlovu, 23, and Thabo Nkala, 25, were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park on October 17, 2015. Lawrence was arrested in Pretoria on December 17 that year.  

They have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder. They allegedly forced the women’s husbands - Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke - to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned. 

Lawrence said a chubby police officer called JB had assaulted him. 

"Do you realise that throughout your entire testimony today you never mentioned the name BJ or JB," prosecutor Monde Mbaqa told him. 

Lawrence looked irritated and frowned, before replying.

"You are doing exactly what these police officers did to me," he told Mbaqa. 

He said the court knew about JB, but that he had become a ghost and was nowhere to be found. 

'People were paid to fabricate evidence'

Mbaqa repeatedly asked Lawrence why he had never mentioned JB during his testimony. 

"There are a lot of things that are strange in this case. People were paid to fabricate evidence against me. They even faked my DNA. The person that arrested me claimed he was going to get a bonus for this," Lawrence claimed. 

"It seems like you are quite a talker. You are asked a simple question, but you give a long explanation," Mbaqa told him.

"I would like to say thank you. You can pretend all you like, but you know there was a reward on my head. The world these days favours the rich and forgets about the poor in prison," Lawrence responded. 

He said Warrant Officer Bruce van der Schyff had instructed him to say he was at Rhodes Park and had taken part in the crimes.

"The investigating officer told me I should go and make my statement or he will put JB on my head till I bleed."

He claimed he was throttled, kicked and punched in his stomach. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  rhodes park

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