Gemballa witness changes statement

2013-08-06 19:38

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Johannesburg - The trial of three men accused of killing German supercar conversion specialist Uwe Gemballa was postponed in the high court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Proceedings would resume on Wednesday, court clerk Prince Morare said.

"The [State] witness changed his statement, saying it was not made voluntarily, that he was forced to write it. So the State has to reconsider its position."

State witness Thabiso Melvin Mpye, 29, was convicted and sentenced in a plea agreement in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in 2010 for his involvement in Gemballa's murder.

He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and killing Gemballa, 55, shortly after the German arrived in South Africa on 8 February 2010.

His body was found in a shallow grave in Pretoria in October that year.

Mpye was going to testify against the three men, Morare said.

Garlond Holworthy, 32, Thabo Mohapi, 36, and Kagiso Linken, 29, are charged with kidnapping and murdering Gemballa, an associate of Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir.

They would remain in police custody.

Krejcir was arrested in February last year on a fraud charge relating to a R4.5m insurance claim.

He was granted bail. He is fighting attempts by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to extradite him back to his home country, the Czech Republic.

There he faces an 11-year prison sentence after he was convicted of money laundering in absentia in 2012.

Read more on:    npa  |  uwe gemballa  |  radovan krejcir  |  johannesburg

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