Metro cop killing case: 'I was driving them to pick up a fake gun', says alleged getaway driver

2019-06-21 18:43
Four of the men accused of murdering two Metro Police cops in the Verulam Magistrate's Court. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Four of the men accused of murdering two Metro Police cops in the Verulam Magistrate's Court. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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The accused getaway driver in the murder of two Durban Metro police officers says he did not know his co-accused were allegedly involved in the killing until he was arrested.

Most of Friday's bail application in the Verulam Magistrate's Court saw Thamsanqa Mabaso, 29, take the stand to give his testimony.

He is one of four men accused of being involved in the shooting of Sergeant Zephinia Dladla, 61, and Constable Sonto Mhlanga, 40, who were gunned down while guarding the home of councillor Moses Zulu in Bhambayi, near Phoenix, last month.

Mabaso claimed he was not aware of the alleged plan to kill the officers. Instead, he said, he was merely giving friends a lift.

He told Magistrate Rajesh Parshotam that he received a call from a friend named "Fana" who requested a lift to Bhambhayi on May 21, the day the officers were killed.

"Fana", who has been mentioned by the accused on a few occasions, is thought to be another assailant who is yet to be arrested.

READ: Cop killings: 'It should be treason to murder a police officer', says Cele at memorial of slain Durban metro cops

Mabaso said when he met "Fana" on the day, there were other individuals present, including some of his co-accused.

"They asked me to give them a lift to Bhambhayi. They offered me R100 for petrol and said they were picking up a fake gun from the area."

While admitting that fetching a fake gun did not make sense, he resolved to drive them to their destination.

Mabaso said he drove until he came to a mosque in Bhambhayi and was told to stop. He added that he had kept his car running and the doors open because "they said they are coming back now".

"I was sitting with my window open and then heard gunshots. They then returned to the vehicle. After they returned, I could still hear gunshots. I asked them what happened - they said maybe there were people having an altercation."

Mabaso said he then drove a different route than the one he had first used.

"I didn't want to take the same route after hearing gunshots."

When asked by Parshotam if he realised his passengers were part of the shooting, he said: "It was dark, I only noticed them when they were close to the car. They seemed like they were running. I was not sure."

The case will continue on June 28.

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Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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