‘Message led to arrest’

2017-10-04 13:45
Cop says parked care raised suspicion.

Cop says parked care raised suspicion. (File)

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Police responding to a radio message about the 2015 murder of a well-known Pietermaritzburg pastor and taxi owner Joseph Masikane (73) encountered a suspect sitting in a parked car en route to the scene.

The officers recovered a cellphone that fell to the floor of the car, and while still busy questioning the suspect, a message was received on the cellphone which was translated from Zulu to mean: “Go away. Things have gone wrong.”

This evidence was given on Tuesday in the Pietermaritzburg high court at the trial of two men — Simphiwe Maphumulo (26) and Bonani Mkhize (38) — who are charged with Masikane’s murder, the attempted murder of his wife, Janet, and other charges.

The court heard that intruders violently forced their way into the house, shooting and wounding Janet Masi­kane (64) on the night of May 8, 2015. They then confronted Joseph Masi­kane in his bedroom where he was shot dead.

The attackers fled without taking any goods.

Maphumulo and Mkhize have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

They are expected to testify today.

The final two state witnesses — Constable Farhad Ismail and Captain Nelson Naicker — gave evidence on Tuesday.

Naicker said he and other policemen were alerted to the attack on the Masikane home in Kingfisher Road, Lynnfield Park, by radio control.

En route to the scene he and Warrant Officer A. Baldowu had come across a silver VW parked along Main Road.

He saw a man lying in the passenger seat covered by a piece of cloth. As they approached the car he saw some wires around the ignition that were exposed and remarked to his colleague it looked as if the car had been “hot-wired”.

Naicker said he and Baldowu had drawn their firearms and Baldowu ordered the man to come out of the vehicle.

As the man alighted, a cellphone fell to the floor. It was on this cellphone that the message was received shortly afterwards. Naicker also found a pair of gloves covered in blackjacks in the boot.

“At first he [the suspect] pretended that he had been sleeping but when he realised that he had been found out he got very, very scared … his body language changed,” said Naicker.

The court heard that the suspect was later identified as Andile Ngcobo, who died prior to the start of the trial.

Naicker testified that after Ngcobo was arrested, he co-operated and led police to Cinderella Park in pursuit of other suspects.

He said at a certain property police found two men sitting around a fire. One of them fled and was chased by members of the SAPS dog unit and the other — Maphumulo — was arrested.

The court heard that Maphumulo allegedly pointed out two firearms — a CZ pistol and a rifle — in the cab of a bakkie in the yard.

However, he denies that he pointed out the weapons and it was suggested to the police witnesses that the guns were discovered by a police dog.

The case is proceeding.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder case

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