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‘I did not tell the whole truth’

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In the statement, Kgadiete alleged that Carelse took him into the veld where he showed him the body, lying under a tree and wrapped in a blanket

Naledi Kgadiete

THE CONVICTED murderer of Kimberley resident, Gershwin Swartz, who is currently testifying against his three former co-accused in the Northern Cape High Court, yesterday admitted that he lied to police in his initial statement.

Naledi Kgadiete, 28, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being found guilty of kidnapping, assaulting and murdering Swartz, is testifying as a State witness against the three remaining accused in the matter – Shaun Carelse, Mamogelo Mocumi, and Boitumelo Matlola.

Swartz, 24, was found stabbed to death in a veld in 2016 after being kidnapped.

Kgadiete yesterday concluded his testimony in chief and was cross-examined by the accused’s defence team.

During cross-examination, Kgadiete admitted that he had lied during his warning statement to police.

“I did not tell the whole truth (in the statement). I can confirm this and was aware about it, but I knew the truth would come out in court. I did not deliberately tell lies but highlighted certain aspects about the incident and the events,” Kgadiete said.

Carelse’s legal representative, Lentswe Sitoto, went through Kgadiete’s warning statement, sentence by sentence, asking Kgadiete if the statements were true or false, with Kgadiete responding to most that they “were lies”.

This included a statement that he had met with Carelse after the incident, where he said that he drove with Carelse in the blue Polo that belonged to Swartz and Carelse told him that the owner was dead and that he (Carelse) would show him where the body was.

In the statement, Kgadiete alleged that Carelse took him into the veld where he showed him the body, lying under a tree and wrapped in a blanket.

Kgadiete confirmed that this was a lie and later admitted that he had told “lots and lots of lies” in his initial statement, including his denial that he was involved in robbing and murdering Swartz.

In his plea agreement statement, Kgadiete, however, admitted to taking part in killing Swartz.

Sitoto also asked Kgadiete if he had lied when he explained to the court how he had pointed out the scene where Swartz’s body was found. Kgadiete responded by stating that it was the truth.

Kgadiete earlier explained that he pointed out the scene where the incident happened to the police, as well as where the deceased was stabbed, where he was taken after the stabbing, blood belonging to the deceased, a stone that he said Carelse had thrown at Swartz, as well as the place where Swartz’s body was left and the blanket used to wrap around his body.

The trial is expected to continue in the Northern Cape High Court today.