Rhodes Park accused claims he was told to rot in jail

2016-11-15 14:44
Rhodes Park accused in court (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

Rhodes Park accused in court (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg – The lawyer for one of the accused in the Rhodes Park trial told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Tuesday that her client was insulted and told to rot in jail by a medical doctor.

Portia Phahlane had indicated to the court that Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, claimed he was called a dog and told that he should rot in jail by the doctor who examined him.

This comes after Dr Justin Kuya took the stand on Monday morning.

The doctor listed his tertiary diplomas and degrees as the three accused, Lawrence, Thabo Nkala, 25, and Admore Ndlovu, 23, looked on.

They pleaded not guilty to charges of rape, murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang that attacked two couples walking in the park in Kensington on the evening of Saturday, October 17, 2015.

DNA test

They allegedly forced the women's husbands, Zukisa Kela and Sizwe Tyeke, to strip before forcing them into the lake, where they drowned.

Kuya was given a J88 – the medical assessment factual finding form – by prosecutor Advocate Monde Mbaqa.

He confirmed that it was his handwriting and signature on the document.

Kuya said he examined one of the accused, Lawrence, 32, for a DNA test on December 22, 2015.

"He was brought by a police officer. Mduduzi had mentioned that he had not been physically assaulted – he was well and co-operative," Kuya said.

He had no physical injuries to his body.

Brief adjournment

Lawrence was arrested on December 18.

"For DNA we can use blood, saliva or we even use the hair. But these days we use the saliva," the doctor said.

During the first 30 minutes of testimony, Lawrence kept shaking his head as Kuya described in detail how he had examined him.

Judge Papi Masopa then asked for a brief adjournment for Phahlane to approach her client.

Lawrence stood and spoke furiously to his attorney throughout the adjournment.

After the adjournment, Phahlane asked Kuya whether he had opened the sample collection kit in front of the accused.

Suspect's claims dismissed

Kuya said he opened and sealed the sample collection kit while the suspect was sitting next to him.

"I attend a lot of criminal courts and as a doctor we know everything that we are doing, we are going to be questioned about in court," Kuya said.

Phahlane said she was told by Lawrence that he did not see where the earbud for swabs came from and it was just stuck into his mouth.

"That is impossible; we open everything in front of the suspects. He was facing me and the room is not too big," the doctor said.

Phahlane said the suspect had also complained to a police officer and asked that someone else should examine him.

"After he complained, you said that the results will come out positive. What is your comment on this?" Phahlane asked.

Kuya looked up, shook his head and said, "No".

'He was able to see everything'

Warrant Officer Patrick Raletsemo confirmed that he was the one that took Lawrence to be examined by Kuya.

Raletsemo said DNA samples were taken in his presence.

He said the doctor sealed the evidence kit and handed it over to him and he took it back to Cleveland police station.

He had locked the exhibit bag in his locker with the J88.

"The doctor and the accused were sitting at the same table. He was able to see everything," Raletsemo said.

He said the accused never complained to him about the doctor and he never heard the doctor insulting the accused or calling him a dog.

The following day he took the exhibit bag to forensics in Arcadia, Pretoria.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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