Witness testifies that one of the Rhodes Park suspects handed him a toy gun

2016-11-17 18:05
Two of the Rhodes Park accused (Iavan Pijoos,News24).

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

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Johannesburg - A witness in the Rhodes Park trial told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday morning that one of the accused asked him to keep a toy gun safe for him.

"He gave me a toy gun and I put it on the side of the bed. He asked if I could keep it for him, because he went to Rocky Street," Comment Malinga said.

Malinga said "Mdu" handed him the toy gun.

Mdu was apparently the street name of Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32.

He had met Lawrence through another man named "Je-Je", who stayed with him and his wife.

They rented a place in Yeoville and had been living together since 2014.

12-man gang

Prosecutor Advocate Monde Mbaqa then asked the witness who "Je-Je" was.

Malinga looked up and without hesitation pointed straight to one of the men in the dock, Admore Ndlovu, 23.

"I know them because we used to drink in the bars together. I met them just before I was sent to prison," he said.

Ndlovu, Thabo Nkala, 25, and Lawrence have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape and murder.

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park. They allegedly forced the women's husbands, Zukisa Kela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

Malinga said he saw news reports of the incident in November last year after he was released from prison.

Gun looked 'real'

"I had just been released from prison on a Friday in November 2015. My wife alerted me to the Rhodes Park murder and robbery on the news on Monday," he testified.

The man spoke softly and was repeatedly asked to speak louder.

"After I saw the headlines on the news, I called Je-Je and he said he knew nothing about the incident," Malinga said.

"Je-Je" said the person with knowledge of the incident was Lawrence, he said.

He was given the toy gun on a Tuesday in November.

"Looking at it, you will think it was a real gun but if you hold it, you will realise it is a toy gun. I asked Mdu about the news and if he committed the crimes," Malinga said.

Lawrence denied that he had, and took his jacket and left.

Claims of affair

He saw Lawrence at a later stage when he arrived with a police officer and asked for the toy gun.

"I told them I left the toy gun in the house before my arrest. Maybe my children started playing with it," he said.

Ndlovu's lawyer Robert Xaba said his client would tell the court that he had also stayed with his wife and child at the house.

"His wife would come and visit, but she mostly stayed in the townships. There was a time she stayed there, but she left," Malinga replied.

Xaba argued that his client moved before Malinga got out of prison. Malinga said he was still staying there.

"He will come and tell this court that he had left your house because he had an affair with your wife," Xaba said.

Malinga looked puzzled and said he knew nothing about this.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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