Croeser to learn fate on shooting

2014-04-15 00:00

THE fate of SANDF soldier Paul Jeke and former Pietermaritzburg policeman Morne Croeser will be decided by Judge Jerome Mnguni next week.

The pair are charged with the shooting of an unarmed civilian in the Ingwavuma area in 2010.

Mnguni said yesterday he intends to deliver judgment on April 23.

Jeke and Croeser are charged with the murder of Sibekezelo Ndlovu on June 8, 2010, at Bhambanana, Ingwavuma, and related charges.

Croeser was performing border duties at the time.

According to evidence at the trial, Ndlovu was an unarmed passenger in a vehicle driven by Mthoko­zisi Manganyela (22).

The court heard that Manganyela tried to evade a roadblock because he did not have a licence.

Croeser and Jeke gave chase and pulled the vehicle over after Croeser had fired warning shots.

Jeke testified that when Ndlovu emerged from the passenger side, he ordered him to raise his hands. When he saw something shiny in his hand, he feared for his life, thinking he was armed with a firearm or a bomb, and he shot him with an R4 rifle in self-defence.

He only realised afterwards that Ndlovu had been holding a USB modulator in his hand and was not armed with a weapon.

Croeser is charged with instructing Jeke to shoot Ndlovu and with later doctoring the crime scene to support Jeke’s version.

Both men denied the allegations.

State advocate Dorian Paver yesterday called for both to be found guilty, even though he conceded that Manganyela gave exaggerated evidence.

Paver submitted, however, that other state witnesses gave reliable evidence, including evidence that Croeser had shouted out, “Shoot, shoot” before Ndlovu was shot, that Croeser assaulted Manganyela and that he’d tampered with the crime scene.

Defence advocate Styx Madlala urged the court to accept that Jeke had acted in self-defence and submitted that there was no credible evidence that he’d acted on an instruction from Croeser.

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