Cop to testify in grenade attack case

2013-04-25 13:10
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Mbombela - A KwaZulu-Natal policeman is expected to testify on Thursday about a 2006 hand grenade attack in which a child and her grandmother died.

The Mbombela circuit of the North Gauteng High Court subpoenaed Warrant Officer Dina Govender on Wednesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

The subpoena was issued after suspected gang leader Yegen Naidoo, 43, told the court convicted State witnesses Mohamed Ismail Khan, 41, and Zamuk Amod Khan, 51, had conspired to implicate him in the fatal bombing.

Hand grenades

Under cross examination, Naidoo said that before the bombing he saw his former business partner Sydney Pandaram giving hand grenades to Mohamed Khan.

"I was sitting in my office when Mohamed came in. Sydney took out two hand grenades from his office drawer and handed them to Mohamed. He said: 'Sort out Joe Hlophe and tell me the price'," Naidoo said.

Asked about his actions after witnessing this, Naidoo said he reported the matter to police.

"First, I found Warrant Officer Cleo Logan Naidoo at the Chatsworth police [station]. He then referred me to ...Govender of the Organised Crime [Unit] after I told him that Sydney might be on a bad mission."

Naidoo insisted that he did not order the bombing, in which Patricia Pillay and her 9-year-old granddaughter Yetska were killed at their home in Valencia, Nelspruit, on 23 December 2006.

"I’m a victim of false accusation. Sydney has planned this with Mohamed to drag me into this; I don't know anything about bombing people."

Naidoo was asked whether any of the officers to whom he reported the matter would be willing to testify.

Afraid for his life

"I've asked Cleo and he agreed to testify, but Govender told me that he's afraid for his life and declined," he said.

The State called Pandaram to the stand on Wednesday afternoon.

"I don't know anything about hand grenades, I’m the one who called the police after Mohamed called me for advice that he had bombed a house in Nelspruit," said Pandaram.

The defence also called Naidoo, of the Durban Detectives Unit, to take the stand.

Prosecutor John Kotze asked the policeman if he had reported at work that he was testifying in court.

Kotze also asked him if he had previously told his superiors that he had testified in Yegen Naidoo's bail hearing.

"I’m on duty leave due to an injury. I just told my boss about this. I didn't have a letter," the policeman said.

"In the previous testimony, I was given a warning for not telling my boss that I'm testifying, but that time I was on sick leave anyway and decided it was worth coming."

Yegen Naidoo is accused of leading a Durban-based gang called Bad Company and of masterminding the hand-grenade attack.

Mohamed and Zamuk Khan, who testified that they were paid a total of R7 000 and were promised more money, are serving life prison sentences with an additional 20 years' each for their roles in the attack.


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