Top cop murder accused disagree over gun

2013-08-01 22:25

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Pretoria - Two of four men accused of killing police Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi had different versions about the purchase of a firearm before the murder, a Pretoria court heard on Thursday.

This emerged during the evidence of Nditsheni Daniel Nefolovhodwe, 39, in the Pretoria North District Court in the four men's bail application.

He said the purchase of a gun for R600 from co-accused Roger Godfrey Moseki, 33, and Tshepo Mosai, 30, was part of a "knocking game" involving the fourth accused, Ndaedzo Isaac Vele, 29.

He said the idea was to take R600 from Vele with the aim of giving it back to him at the end of the month.

The four men allegedly met on 12 June in Roodepoort, first at a petrol station, then at Moseki's home.

Nefolovhodwe described a "knocking game" as a kind of joke they had played amongst themselves before, with Vele wanting the weapon due to unhappiness at work and possibly to "kill himself".

He said he believed Vele was joking.

However, the defence for Moseki said he disagreed with Nefolovhodwe's version of events, stating Moseki believed the transaction was of a serious nature.

Cross-examined by prosecutor Lucas Moseki, Nefolovhodwe indicated that a "knocking game" was also a means of stealing from a person through false promises.

Maswanganyi's body was found on 17 June in a field near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, with his hands and feet bound. This followed a search, launched after a police patrol found his Isuzu bakkie abandoned next to the R101.

A police uniform and police identification card were in the car.

Torture claims

The State opposed bail for all four accused. They face charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and driving a vehicle without the owner's permission.

Nefolovhodwe, Moseki and Vele are members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF). Nefolovhodwe knew Moseki as a member of the infantry.

When asked by the State, Nefolovhodwe denied knowing Maswanganyi, the circumstances surrounding his death, or his home address.

Nditsheni earlier told the court police tortured him for six hours when he was arrested on 24 June. He was suffocated with a plastic bag, beaten, tied up and forced to urinate on himself.

He said the same thing happened again after being taken to a building in Germiston on either 28 or 29 June. His legs were tied to his hands behind his back, causing him much pain. He said he was throttled with a plastic tube.

"I felt at that stage I was going to die," he told the full courtroom.

He said he was not read his rights during his detention and would plead not guilty to the charges.

In an affidavit Vele submitted police tortured him.

"I've been brutally assaulted by [the SA Police Service]...[and] tortured severely."

He said that were he not to get bail, he would lose his income, and believed the State did not have any evidence linking him to the crime scene.

The matter was postponed to 14 August.

Read more on:    police  |  sandf  |  tirhani maswanganyi

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