Rhodes Park trial within a trial looks at admissibility of confession

2016-11-24 16:45
Two of the Rhodes Park accused (Iavan Pijoos,News24).

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

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Johannesburg - A trial within a trial was held in the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday to decide the admissibility of a confession made in the Rhodes Park rape and murder case.

This comes after one of the three men accused of raping two women and killing their husbands in Rhodes Park, east of Johannesburg, last year claimed that he had been assaulted by police officers until he made a confession.

Admore Ndlovu, 26, claimed he was assaulted and forced to memorise a confession. 

"My client was assaulted by police officers with the names of Constable Sono, BJ and Howard," his lawyer, Robert Xaba, told the court.

Xaba said the investigative officer, Warrant Officer Bruce van der Shyff, was also present during the assault. 

Ndlovu claimed he was taken to an open veld in Yeoville a day before he made his confession. 

These were the same people that Thabo Nkala, 25, claimed had assaulted him. However, Judge Papi Masopa ruled that his confession had been made freely and voluntary. 

Court documents previously put Ndlovu's age at 23, however he rectified this in court. 

Ndlovu, Nkala and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, are on trial on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder. They pleaded not guilty.

'He was calm and co-operative'

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang who attacked two couples walking in the park 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.

Lieutenant Colonel Lilian Ndlovu took the stand on Thursday morning, and said she had observed no injuries or scars when she took his statement. 

"He was calm and co-operative and never mentioned that he was assaulted. He also said in his statement, he was not encouraged or threatened to make a statement," Lieutenant Ndlovu said.

Xaba had also argued that Van der Shyff handed the officers a steel rod to electrocute him. 

Lieutenant Ndlovu denied this. 

"He will come and tell this court that they used a tape recorder to record him and said if he was not going to make a statement, they were going to kill him," Xaba said.

She said she was not aware of any of these claims. 

The trial continues. 

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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