Top cop 'was a regular client'

2013-08-14 22:44

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Pretoria - Murdered Gauteng policeman Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi was a regular client of a prostitute, the Pretoria North District Court heard on Wednesday.

This emerged during the bail application of four people accused of killing Maswanganyi in June this year.

They are Nditsheni Daniel Nefolovhodwe, 39, Roger Godfrey Moseki, 33, Tshepo Mosai, 30, and Ndaedzo Isaac Vele, 29.

Mosai denied any involvement under cross-examination by defence lawyer Ruth Mudau, saying he had been a police informant for the Krugersdorp organised crime unit.

Before his arrest, he overheard a woman police officer at the unit talking about two prostitutes arrested in the murder investigation.

Mudau asked Mosai if he knew about two women who were arrested and of Maswanganyi being one of their regular clients.

Mosai said: "I heard about it."

He added: "While I was at the Krugersdorp organised crime offices, I heard a female police officer on the phone saying the arrested woman was a prostitute, and was supposed to have accompanied the general to Johannesburg to spend the week together."

The four accused face charges of: premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and driving a vehicle without the owner's permission.

Their bail application was postponed to 5 September, and was scheduled to run for two days.

Maswamganyi'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 a police identification card were in the car.

Torture claims

Mosai testified on Wednesday, bursting into tears as he told the court police tortured him and forced him to confess to the crime which he had nothing to do with.

"Police brought a black refuse bag and then laid a carpet on the ground. They tied my hands and legs," he told the court during a bail application.

He said one of the officers brought a basketball cut in half and sat on top of him. His face was covered with the ball and he was unable to breath.

The process was repeated.

Mosai claimed he was repeatedly tortured as police wanted him to confess on how Maswanganyi was killed.

The torture lasted for about two hours, and reached a point where he soiled himself, he said.

Police told him the story of how Maswanganyi was killed and said he should confess to it. He was allowed to stand up and wash his pants before he received the instructions.

"They then told me how I killed Mr Maswanganyi together with the other accused. They said I should repeat what they said to see if I understood what I was told."

Taken to the police station

One of the officers recorded what he was saying on a cellphone. He was then taken to the Germiston police station and made to sign a document.

"I was then taken to Alberton police station to make a statement. An officer came to take a statement and he said he was there to take a statement about the issues I had confessed to in Germiston," he said.

He tried to tell the officer he was tortured into confessing, but the officer would not hear about it.

"I said I couldn't sign the statement because I didn't know the information and I was told to say. I signed because I was scared he would take me back to Germiston."

After signing the statement, he was taken back to the Germiston police station to identify another accused.

"The officers came to the station with another person and accused number two. They asked who the other person was and I said I didn't know him," he said.

Mosai told the court he was approached by police on Monday in prison.

He said they tried to persuade him to abandon his bail application and turn State witness.

He was told he would get a suspended sentence if he stuck to the statements he gave during his arrest, and if he testified against the three other accused.

Mosai said he turned down their offer because he had nothing to do with the murder.

Read more on:    police  |  tirhani maswanganyi

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