Tibbetts murder accused admits possible fault

2015-03-17 15:23
Lindray Khakhu (File: Sapa)

Lindray Khakhu (File: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The man accused of shooting dead Westbury toddler Luke Tibbetts on Tuesday admitted in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg sitting in Palm Ridge that it was probably a bullet fired from his gun that hit the child.

"It must have been," Lindray Khakhu said under cross-examination by prosecutor Deon van Wyk.

Khakhu, 22, is on trial for two murders, including that of 3-year-old Tibbetts, five counts of attempted murder, 10 of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and one of pointing a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty to all 18 charges.

Tibbetts was shot in the head in Steytler Street, Westbury, Johannesburg, on 2 August last year while sitting on his mother's lap in a car, as Khakhu allegedly shot at Keenan Mokwena who was in another car.

Mokwena was wounded. Tibbetts died in hospital six days later.

Van Wyk accused Khakhu of changing his testimony to match other evidence before the court.

"You're changing your version, you're adding on. You are building your story to fit with the objective facts and other evidence," he said.

Earlier, Khakhu testified that he saw two "flashes" coming from the white Toyota Yaris in which Mokwena was driving and that he had fired shots into the ground in response to "scare" him away.

Van Wyk contested Khakhu's testimony, saying this was the first time the court heard this version and his lawyer had not questioned key witnesses on that version.

He added that Khakhu had invented this version after hearing a ballistics expert testify that two shells were found on the scene from the same firearm.

"I put it to you Lindray that you see the opportunity of two cartridges and you link it to the Yaris in a fabricated version to bring to court today," said Van Wyk.

He also contested that Khakhu had been drunk at the time, saying that seven out of the 10 shots fired had hit its target, Mokwena's white Yaris.

Earlier, when giving evidence-in-chief led by his lawyer Sog van Eck, Khakhu said he had not seen the car that Tibbetts and his family were travelling in and had not intended to kill the toddler.

"When you fired into the ground did you have any intention of trying to murder anyone?" Van Eck asked him.

"I was trying to scare them off," replied Khakhu.

Khakhu, wearing a powder blue jersey and ankle chains, spoke softly during his testimony and often had to be asked to speak up.

During cross-examination, he became defensive and often refused to answer questions prompting Van Wyk to say that he would ask the court to make an inference about his demeanour if he did not answer.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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