Murder: 15 cops in court

2012-09-27 00:00

FIFTEEN policemen charged with murdering a man whose naked body was found along a road in Mpumalanga township, near Hammarsdale, on October 28, 2010, pleaded not guilty to eight charges arising from the incident in the Pieter­maritzburg Regional Court yesterday.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Moses Dlamini said in a press statement the accused were members of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) in ­Pinetown and the Tactical Response Unit at Inanda.

He said it was alleged that they had gone to the home of the victim, Nhlanhla Luthuli (40), to search for a firearm belonging to a CIU member who had had a robbery at his house.

The policemen are further charged with having robbed Luthuli and Amanda Ncube of two Nokia cellphones and a jacket; of malicious injury to property for allegedly damaging the base of a bed and a wardrobe in the home of Ncube; of assaulting Ncube by “pushing and grabbing” her; breaking into her home; pointing a firearm, antique gun or airgun at Mondli Mdabe; and two further counts of assaulting ­Mdabe and Sindiswe Luthuli.

All the offences were allegedly committed in the Zamani area on the same night.

Prosecutor Martin Mtambo told regional magistrate Riaan de Wet the state would lead evidence that the accused were all on duty at the time of the alleged crimes.

They allegedly arrived at a house which was rented by Luthuli but was occupied by his son, Mondli Mdabe, at the time.

Mtambo said evidence would be led that the policemen broke into the house, pointed a firearm at Mdabe and searched the house. Mdabe was asked to point out where his father (Luthuli) was and took police to Ncube’s house. On finding Luthuli there, he allegedly denied knowledge of the firearm that the police sought and was assaulted.

Luthuli is alleged to have taken the police later to the home of his mother where they allegedly threatened his sister, Sindiswe. After Luthuli took them to yet another house, where no firearm was found, police took him to their vehicle and left, Mtambo said.

“In the morning the deceased was found lying naked next to the road … he was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.”

Mtambo said evidence would be led that the post mortem revealed the cause of his death to be “blunt force injuries to his body”.

The case has been set down for two weeks.

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