Rhodes Park accused claims he was assaulted by police officers

2016-11-17 20:06
Rhodes park accused appear in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Rhodes park accused appear in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg - One of the men in the Rhodes Park trial claimed he was assaulted by police officers after his arrest in November last year, his lawyer told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday.

“My client said he was assaulted by a police officer with a ZCC [name badge] and a white police officer with the name of BJ,” his lawyer Thulasizwe Mpanza said.

Thabo Nkala, 25, claimed that he was assaulted the day after his arrest. 

However, police officers that testified on Thursday denied the claims. 

Lieutenant Colonel Mkwebula said when she had questioned Nkala he said he was never assaulted. 

“I could see he was well literate because he read one of the things from a form on my desk and then corrected me. He never said he was assaulted,” Mkwebula said.

A second police officer who took the stand, Sergeant Thamsaqa Zwane had also denied his claim. 

Zwane said when he was in the presence of Nkala he had never complained of any injuries. 

Zwane testified that Lieutenant Colonel Bhuti Duma had asked to accompany him to pick up Mkala from Cleveland police station.

“I picked him up at his home in Diepkloof and headed to Cleveland SAPS. He went inside the police station to fetch the accused,” Zwane said. 

The accused sat with Zwane in the front of the car. Zwane’s duty was to drive. 

“The accused was directing us to a park or something like a dam. When he got out, he pointed at certain areas of the dam,” Zwane said.

He went around the park with Duma. A photographer had accompanied them at the park.

Read him his rights

Duma said he had carefully read his rights to him and had instructed Nkala that whatever he pointed out would be photographed and used in his trial. 

Duma stood before the court with the list of questions he had asked Nkala in November 2015. 

He said his clothes were in good condition; he was in good spirits and was smiling. Nkala also had a scar on his face.

“He said it was a natural scar on his face, he was not assaulted,” Duma said.

He had also told Nkala that if he was assaulted to deliver a statement, he was able to assist him.

Nkala only replied with, “Yes.”

When Duma had asked the question if he was ever assaulted by anyone, Nkala said, “No.”
One of the questions read, “Do you have injuries, bruises, scars, of any nature on your body?”

Nkala replied, “No.” 

The matter was postponed to Friday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  rhodes park

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