Police were paid bonuses for my arrest - Rhodes Park accused

2016-12-09 18:03
Two of the Rhodes Park accused (Iavan Pijoos, News24).

Two of the Rhodes Park accused (Iavan Pijoos, News24).

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Johannesburg – One of the Rhodes Park murder and rape accused told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Friday that the DNA used to link him to one of the victims was fabricated.

"All the evidence that was provided in court, how is it possible that I was involved?" Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, asked prosecutor Monde Mbaqa during cross-examination.

When Mbaqa told Lawrence that his DNA was found on one of the victims’ panties and genitals, Lawrence shook his head and said: "I didn’t do it. Something wrong happened with the evidence."

He claimed he did not know how DNA worked and believed the DNA samples were from 2008, from his previous conviction.

He denied being in the company of one of the women raped during the ordeal.

Lawrence, Admore Ndlovu, 23, and Thabo Nkala, 25, are on trial on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder. They pleaded not guilty.

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park in Kensington, on the evening of Saturday, October 17, 2015.

They allegedly forced the women’s husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

'Dead or alive'

The women previously testified about how they were raped as their husbands drowned.

On Friday, Lawrence told the court that police officers were paid bonuses when he got arrested.

"I was told police officers would get bonuses when they arrested me. I don’t know why I am the only person who knows this, but people were paid money for my arrest," he said.

He said most of the information he received was through his cellmates who read newspapers for him. He claimed he could speak English, but could not read the language.

On Thursday, Lawrence claimed that senior police management in Pretoria ordered he should be caught dead or alive.

Mbaqa asked Lawrence where the order for his arrest came from. He said the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Bruce van der Schyff, told him the order came from Pretoria.

"So you are saying the police commissioner Lieutenant-General Johannes Khomotso Phahlane gave the order that you must be found dead or alive?" Mbaqa asked him.

"I was told by the police officer that whoever gave me up was going to get a lot of money. I heard people say that R100 000 was put on my head," he responded.

Lawrence was arrested in Sunnyside, Pretoria, on December 17, 2015.

The matter was postponed to December 13 for arguments.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  rape  |  rhodes park

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