Home South African More allegations of torture, assault against cops probing Senzo Meyiwa murder

More allegations of torture, assault against cops probing Senzo Meyiwa murder

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The defence has raised more allegations of torture and assault against police officers involved in the Senzo Meyiwa murder investigation.

One of the Senzo Meyiwa murder accused, Bongani Ntanzi, says he was assaulted in front of a Justice of Peace officer who took his statement. Picture: Oupa Mokoena, African News Agency (ANA)

THE DEFENCE has raised more allegations of torture and assault against police officers involved in the Senzo Meyiwa murder investigation.

The latest claims involved accused two, Bongani Ntanzi, who the defence says was assaulted and tortured in the presence of a Justice of the Peace officer who took his statement on June 19, 2020.

There is currently a trial-within-a-trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to determine if confessions made by Ntanzi and accused one, Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, were made freely and voluntarily.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mohale Raphadu, who is an experienced officer and who is currently the detective commander for the Ennerdale Detectives, administered Ntanzi’s confession at the Moroka police station.

Ntanzi’s lawyer, advocate Thulani Mngomezulu, has challenged the admissibility of the confession statement, telling the court that Ntanzi was beaten in front of Raphadu.

“Ntanzi was forced to make a confession; he was assaulted in the presence of Raphadu. The statement was already written; he was coerced to sign it by Raphadu in the presence of the police who assaulted him. It was not made freely and voluntarily,” said Mngomezulu.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng said State advocate George Baloyi had an onus to prove that the statements were made freely and voluntarily.

Raphadu told the court he was alone with Ntanzi in an office next to the crime office at the Moroka police station when the statement was made.

He said Ntanzi had been brought to him by a Jonathan from the Ekurhuleni Metro Police (EMPD).

Raphadu said he showed Ntanzi his appointment certificates, read him his rights to silence, his right to an attorney, and that any information could be used against him in a court of law. He said they conversed with him in isiZulu.

Raphadu said he was competent in isiZulu as he lived at a hostel for 10 years when he arrived in Joburg, spoke it at work, and had taken countless statements from Zulu-speaking people.

Raphadu said Ntanzi opted against using an attorney and said that he had not been assaulted.

The court heard Ntanzi had been held at the Pretoria North police station at the time.

The trial adjourned early due to one of the court officials being ill.

Earlier, Lieutenant-Colonel James Hadebe completed his cross-examination under defence advocate Zandile Mshololo.

Hadebe was testifying in relation to the pointing out of a scene by accused one, Sibiya.

The court heard how Sibiya had been kept alone while handcuffed in a police cell at the Alberton police station, while EMPD officers were stationed outside guarding him.

Hadebe said he asked for Sibiya to join him, and he agreed, but Mshololo disputed this.

“If you say to someone ngicela siye hhovisi (please, may we go to the office) and he agrees, that means you asked,” said Hadebe.

Mshololo said Hadebe’s explanation of the accused’s rights was vague and conducted improperly.

“You ought to have explained the rights and the consequences. Do you see what I am saying? So do you see that the rights you explained are vague, which says you must know the consequences?”

Hadebe conceded.

It was also revealed that Sibiya was being held at the Villieria police station in Pretoria, where he was taken after pointing out the scene.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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