Rhodes Park accused denies knowing accomplices

2016-12-06 20:34
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 – One of the Rhodes Park murder and rape accused denied knowing the other two men arrested with him, the High Court in Palm Ridge heard on Tuesday.

"I have no relationship with the other two men. I have never met them before," Thabo Nkala, 25, testified.

His lawyer, Thulasizwe Mpanza, asked him if he knew or had seen the two accused before. Without hesitation, Nkala looked at them and said he did not know them.

Nkala, Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, and Admore Ndlovu, 23, are on trial on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder.

They have 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 raped the women and forced their husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

Nkala denied going to Rhodes Park that day. He claimed he was in Yeoville, about 5km away, selling cigarettes at a Nando’s outlet.

He claimed his first trip to the park was in the company of police officers.  

During cross examination, Prosecutor Monde Mbaqa asked Nkala if he was familiar with the name Rasta, and if he had ever been called Rasta.

One of the men suspected of involvement in the crime had been identified by the street name Rasta, because of his dreadlocks.

"My name is not Rasta, but maybe people called me Rasta because of my dreadlocks," he replied.

'This is the only truth I know'

He said he had cut his dreadlocks off when he was in prison, because he could not maintain them.

Earlier, Nkala claimed he was assaulted and forced to memorise a confession.

Mbaqa asked him how he could not recognise the people who he claimed had assaulted him when they testified in court.

"Were they hiding their faces?" he asked him.

Nkala said he did not recognise them.  

Mbaqa asked if he could remember one of the women who was raped and who prayed during the ordeal.

"I just find it strange that you say you are also someone who prays and believes in God. Among Christians there is a saying that it is never too late to tell the truth, you will always be forgiven. There is still time for you," Mbaqa said.

"This is the only truth I know, that’s why I am sticking to it," Nkala said.

The matter was postponed to Wednesday.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  rhodes park

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