Top cop murder accused called sangoma

2013-10-19 07:59

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Pretoria - One of four men arrested for the murder of Johannesburg cluster commander Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi pleaded with a sangoma "to make his case go away", the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.

Provincial investigating unit commander Colonel Abednego Shibiri said Nditsheni Daniel Nefolovhodwe sought the services of a sangoma prior to his arrest on 25 June.

"We have the transcripts of the phone records. He called the sangoma on the 24th and told him that accused number one [Ndaedzo Isaac Vele] had been arrested and wanted the case to go away," Shibiri said during the four men's bail application.

He told the court that Nefolovhodwe had spoken to the sangoma in Venda.

Nefolovhodwe's lawyer disputed Shibiri's claims and said the police should have brought the transcript to court.

Shibiri said the evidence was not before the court because the transcription process had not been concluded.

Earlier, the court heard that Vele did not have money and would not abscond if released on bail.

Advocate Johann Engelbrecht, for Vele, cross-examined Shibiri about the police evidence against his client.

"I have a problem in this matter. You come here to oppose bail in this matter on the basis of the expectation that further evidence will reveal A, B, or C. Where are the cellphones and the iPad [of Maswanganyi]?"

Shibiri said ongoing investigations would disclose the people who took the murdered policeman's property.

Engelbrecht was not convinced: "Oh please, you don't know that the further investigation will recover the cellphones and the iPad. You hope that, possibly."

Shibiri said his hopes were pinned on the investigations currently underway. However, Engelbrecht contended there was no evidence placing his client at the scene of the crime.

Vele, Nefolovhodwe, Tshepo Mosai, and Roger Godfrey Moseki are accused of killing the senior policeman.

Cop found dead in a field

Maswanganyi was found dead in a field near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, near the R101, in June.

His hands and feet were bound. A police patrol found Maswanganyi's abandoned Isuzu bakkie next to the road.

A police uniform and police identification card were in the bakkie, which prompted a search.

Three of the four accused, including Vele and Nefolovhodwe, were members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

Engelbrecht said Shibiri's team had found that Vele could not escape and start afresh in another country.

"His financial position is virtually zero. No money is in the possession of the accused, which would enable him to leave and stay out of the country.

"You also confirmed his residential address and found that he has a pregnant girlfriend whom he is planning to marry."

Shibiri disagreed.

"I am a police officer and in my experience people have left countries without a cent. People also come into countries without a cent," he said.

"We confirmed about the girlfriend, but I cannot say anything about him wanting to marry her. He [Vele] is the one who knows that."

Shibiri told the court the evidence linking Vele to the crime was his own confession, admissible in court.

Engelbrecht said Vele would surrender his passport to the police in an attempt to increase his chances for bail.

Shibiri said investigations so far had revealed that Vele had been out of South Africa 16 times.

The bail applications were postponed to 6 and 7 November.

Read more on:    police  |  sandf  |  tirhani maswanganyi

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