CCTV footage used to identify Rhodes Park suspects

2016-11-15 18:18
Rhodes park accused appear in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Rhodes park accused appear in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg - CCTV footage and a police informant were used to identify several of the men suspected of involvement in the Rhodes Park gang rape and double murder, the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge heard on Tuesday.

Most of them lived in Yeoville, about 5km from Rhodes Park in Kensington, where the crime took place.

A local Community Policing Forum member testified that he went to the scene on Saturday, October 17 2015, after hearing about what had happened on a WhatsApp group.

Patrick Murphy, who had lived in Kensington for 22 years, said he found a house near the park that had CCTV cameras. He installs CCTV cameras for a living. He asked the owner if he could see the footage.

He was testifying in the trial of Thabo Nkala, 25, Admore Ndlovu, 23, and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder.


READ: Where are our husbands, Rhodes Park victims asked cops

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park. They allegedly forced the women’s husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

Murphy said that according to the recording, at 19:06 that evening, a man ran past the camera and then started walking. A few seconds later, four men passed the camera. One was carrying a pair of shoes and had shoes on his feet.

A few seconds later another man came running. Four minutes later another two ran by.

Prosecutor Mutuwa Nengovhela asked him if he recognised any of the men in the dock from the CCTV footage.

Without hesitating, Murphy pointed at Nkala in the dock. He said he was the one carrying the shoes.

A few days after the crime, he contacted a detective and informed him about the video footage. The constable looked at the footage and contacted one of his informants. The informant was able to name many of the men in the footage.

“The names he gave us, confirmed that most of them stay in the Yeoville area,” he said.

Murphy gave the court six names, which he said were likely their street names.

After the informant was asked to find the suspects, he contact Murphy and told him he had found one called Rasta. He and the constable went to Yeoville, picked up the informant and headed to a nearby Nando’s outlet, where they arrested the man. He wore a distinctive jacket and had dreadlocks.  

“The suspect admitted that he was at Rhodes Park and he did the robbery, but he did not commit the rape. He also did not tie the people up,” Murphy said.

Rasta was later identified as Nkala.

The court was unable to play the footage and Judge Papi Masopa postponed the trial to Wednesday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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