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City man guilty of killing cop

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Majozi denied pointing out of the scene but failed to say why the man would testify to this effect.

GUILTY: Mzwandile Majozi was found guilty of murdering and robbing an off-duty police officer. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A KIMBERLEY man was yesterday found guilty in the Northern Cape High Court of robbing and murdering a police officer.

Mzwandile Majozi, 28, remained emotionless as Acting Judge Lawrence Lever found him guilty on a charge of murder, as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances, following an incident where he killed an off-duty police officer, Constable Lentswe Edward Mogorosi.

Mogorosi’s bloodied body was found by a passer-by shortly before 6 am on the morning of January 8, 2017.

A post-mortem revealed that Mogorosi was stabbed 22 times.

On January 9, 2017, Majozi was arrested at his house after police found Mogorosi’s cellphone, shoes, medical aid card and keys in his possession. Majozi was also the last person to be seen with Mogorosi before his death.

Majozi pleaded not guilty to the two charges while pleading guilty to a third drug-related charge.

Lever yesterday noted the established facts of the case and said that Mojozi knew Mogorosi and that both of them were at the home of Jacob Slinger on the night of January 7, 2017 and both left during the early hours of January 8. A few hours later, Mogorosi’s body was found in a veld between Roodepan and Lerato Park.

On January 9, police found the belongings of the deceased at Majozi’s home. Majozi had a wound on his right hand.

Lever indicated that evidence produced during the trial fell into three categories, namely the incriminating admissions made by Majozi to people following the incident (which placed him on the scene where the deceased was found), the belongings found in his possession and his explanations therefore, as well as the DNA evidence and the evidence of witnesses that corroborated the admissions Majozi had made.

Lever said that this evidence should be considered holistically to see what inferences could be drawn.

With regard to the admissions made by Majozi, Lever noted that three admissions were made to three different people at different times. This included the evidence of State witness Mannetjie Plaatjies, who testified that on January 8 Majozi had taken him to the veld (close to where the body of Mogorosi was discovered) and told him that he (Majozi) had “stabbed a man”, with Majozi pointing out the area where the stabbing took place, as well as two knife handles and one knife blade.

Plaatjies testified that he noticed blood on the ground where Majozi had pointed out the scene. He added that Majozi had admitted to him that the knife used during the stabbing had “broken” but “luckily” he had another knife on him.

Majozi denied pointing out of the scene but failed to say why the man would testify to this effect.

To another witness, Majozi admitted that he had been in the veld with Mogorosi on the night of the incident when a fight between the two of them broke out. Again, Majozi denied making this admission, adding that the witness was “forced” to give this testimony. However, Lever said that no further details of this “duress” were presented.

Another witness testified how she had witnessed an injury on Majozi’s hand on the morning of January 8, with Majozi claiming that he had sustained the injury “while protecting Mogorosi against an attack from an unknown man”.

Majozi maintained that he never met this witness that morning.

Lever stated that the evidence of the three witnesses generally corroborated other evidence and tied in with the known facts. He added that the evidence of the three contained enough differences to exclude any type of collusion.

With regard to the personal items belonging to Mogorosi that were found in the possession of Majozi on January 9, Lever said that Majozi’s explanations for this were “not impressive and improbable”.

Lever went on to say that Majozi was “not an impressive witness” as he contradicted his plea explanation while giving evidence in court and “embroidered evidence”.

Lever found Majozi guilty on the robbery aggravating and murder charges after stating that when all evidence was taken holistically, “the only reasonable inference that could be drawn was that Majozi violently attacked, robbed and stabbed Mogorosi during the incident that led to his death”.