Forensic evidence dominates Glebelands 8 trial

2019-08-28 16:48
Accused in the Glebelands case are returned to custody.   (Jabulani Langa, Daily Sun, file)

Accused in the Glebelands case are returned to custody. (Jabulani Langa, Daily Sun, file)

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Forensic evidence of violent killings at the Glebelands hostel dominated proceedings in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, where eight men are on trial for nine murders.

While prosecutor Dorian Paver ran through cursory information on how evidence was gathered, defence advocate Martin Krog scrutinised the evidence presented by Constable Mthokozisi Sishi.

On Wednesday, Krog aggressively tested Sishi, who gathered blood samples and took pictures in Block R on August 20, 2014, a day after a brutal shooting.

It emerged during cross-examination Sishi had not taken samples of all the blood at the scene.

"Why not? Why did you not, at a bare minimum, take photos of the blood? It is what you do for a living, why not take photos?" asked Krog.

Sishi replied he was following directives of what was needed from his superiors.

"I was shown what was needed from the detectives who usually show us what they need. This is not uncommon."

Krog pushed on, saying there were multiple visible blood spatters, but samples of these were not taken.

"Are you telling me that your evidence is that there was other blood visible, but detectives said they were not concerned with that blood?"

Sishi argued it was because of proximity.

"The detective said the victims were in one specific area. They said the blood on the other side could be evidence of the people who shot at those victims."

Krog lambasted Sishi, saying he should have done more.

"I would have expected more from you in terms of where things were in proportion to one another."

The eight men are accused "hitmen".

They are accused of killing nine residents of the infamous hostel in Umlazi, and allegedly conspired to form an association that controlled money collected there.

They are being charged with murder, attempted murder and racketeering along with former detective sergeant Bhekukwazi Louis Mdweshu who was the group's alleged kingpin.

Mdweshu, Khayelihle Mbuthuma, Vukani Mcombothi, Eugene Wonderboy Hlophe, Ncomekile Ntshangase, Mbuyiselwa Mkhize, Mondli Mthethwa and former security guard Bongani Mbhele will remain in custody for the duration of the trial.

The crimes allegedly took place at the hostel between August 19, 2014, and March 26, 2016.

Read more on:    durban  |  glebelands hostel  |  crime
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