Cop tells court of weapons seized ... af­ter seven sus­pects al­legedly at­tacked a man

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - MUR­RAY SWART STAFF RE­PORTER

THE MUR­DER trial of seven peo­ple ac­cused of as­sault­ing and then set­ting a man alight con­tin­ued in the North­ern Cape High Court yes­ter­day, with mem­bers of the SAPS testifying that they ar­rived on the scene to find sev­eral dan­ger­ous items, in­clud­ing empty con­tain­ers smelling of an ac­cel­er­ant, ly­ing near the body.

The seven sus­pects - Bokang Se­hapi, Khunoan Mafoe, Te­bogo Ngoana­hali, Ret­shidtswe Ngoana­hali, Mamot­se­betsi Rhako­jane, John Thene and Taeli Rakhiba are ac­cused of beat­ing Skhukula Mose­betsi to death and set­ting his body alight in an ap­par­ent mob jus­tice in­ci­dent in Madiba Square on De­cem­ber 31, 2016.

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s court pro­ceed­ings, War­rant Of­fi­cer Li­phuko Seleke, from the SAPS Crim­i­nal Record Cen­tre, said that he had ar­rived at the scene of the in­ci­dent shortly be­fore 1am on Jan­uary 1, 2017, where he col­lected sev­eral items be­lieved to have been used as weapons dur­ing the at­tack on Mose­betsi.

These in­cluded sticks, gar­den tools and iron bars, while a knife and an empty bot­tle were also found not far from Mose­betsi’s body.

While the ac­cused’s le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive dis­puted that the smell of flammable liq­uid would still have been present on a con­tainer nearly two hours af­ter the in­ci­dent, Seleke said that he had recog­nised the fa­mil­iar odour of paraf­fin on an empty two-litre cooldrink bot­tle that he found a few me­tres from where the body was ly­ing.

“The in­ci­dent oc­curred at around 11pm and I ar­rived on the scene shortly be­fore 1am,” Seleke tes­ti­fied. “I don’t think the smell would have dis­ap­peared in that time.

“While at the scene, I col­lected sev­eral items as ev­i­dence and took pho­to­graphs be­fore send­ing the ex­hibits, via courier, for anal­y­sis. At the time, I did not no­tice any blood on a knife that we col­lected and sent off for anal­y­sis.”

Sergeant Ben­jamin Moapesi, from the Galeshewe Vis­i­ble Polic­ing Unit, took the stand when court re­sumed af­ter lunch and tes­ti­fied how he had been the first of­fi­cer to re­spond to the call-out.

“I was on duty and we were do­ing pa­trols when we re­ceived a com­plaint, via ra­dio con­trol, be­tween 10.30pm and 11pm,” Moapesi re­called. “When we ar­rived at the shanties, I found a per­son ly­ing there help­lessly.

“There were al­ready am­bu­lance per­son­nel there, who in­formed me that they had al­ready de­clared the per­son dead.

“The per­son ap­peared to have been burnt and I could see that his body was swollen from the in­juries.”

Moapesi said that Seleke and the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer ar­rived a few min­utes later and he handed over the crime scene to the IO be­fore giv­ing his state­ment.

“We then in­spected the scene and that is when we found a knife and two bot­tles,” he added. “I didn’t han­dle these items but I did se­cure the scene to en­sure that they we not tam­pered with.

“I can’t say for cer­tain whether or not they were there when I first ar­rived, as we only un­cov­ered these items when we started look­ing for clues once the IO had ar­rived 10 to 15 min­utes af­ter me.”

The trial con­tin­ues.

Pic­ture: So­raya Crowie

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.