Senior police management ordered my arrest - Rhodes Park accused

2016-12-08 20:02
Rhodes park accused appear in court. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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

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Johannesburg – Senior police management in Pretoria ordered he should be caught dead or alive, one of the Rhodes Park murder and rape accused told the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday afternoon. 

“They told me that they will make sure of the charges against me, because they are working under an order that I must be found dead or alive,” Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, told prosecutor Monde Mbaqa during cross-examination.

Lawrence, Admore Ndlovu, 23, and Thabo Nkala, 25, are on trial on charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, rape, and murder. They pleaded not guilty.

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.

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

Lawrence told the court that he was not at Rhodes Park on the day. However, he could not give a clear indication of where he was. He said his last visits to Rhodes Park were in 2009 and 2010. 

He denied giving a witness who testified a few weeks ago, Comment Malinga, a toy gun to keep.

Lawrence claimed the doctor who assessed him told him rot in jail. 

“The doctor called me a dog and said I will die in jail. He said he will make sure that it happens to me.”

Mbaqa asked Lawrence where the order for his arrest came from. 

He said the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Bruce van der Schyff, told him the order came from Pretoria. 

“So you are saying the police commissioner Lieutenant-General Johannes Khomotso Phahlane gave the order that you must be found dead or alive?” Mbaqa asked him. 

“I was told by the police officer that whoever gave me up was going to get a lot of money. I heard people say that a R100 000 was put on my head,” he responded. 

Lawrence was arrested in Sunnyside, Pretoria, on December 17, 2015.

 Mbaqa asked whether he was running away from the police because he claimed he stayed in Orange Farm, about 50km from Johannesburg. Lawrence said he was selling scrap metal in Pretoria at the time of his arrest. 

Earlier, his lawyer Portia Phahlane asked him whether he knew his co-accused, Nkala and Ndlovu. 

“I only know Thabo from the streets of Yeoville and I used to see Admore at the scrapyard where I sold a few things,” he said. 

Lawrence denied being identified through CCTV footage by a police informer. 

“That footage is all lies. I never saw myself in that footage when it was played to me.”

The matter was postponed to Friday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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