Times of Eswatini
Is it beetroot or blood stains?
MBABANE - This is what the court needs to establish in the ongoing trial of Londokuhle Lukhele, who is accused of killing Sergio Mavimba while at Ndzevane, an area situated at Logoba in Matsapha.
The argument was brought by Lawyer Mongi Sibandze, who was representing Lukhele in the matter. Sibandze was rebutting the evidence of Detective Bongani Mhlongo during cross-examination. Mhlongo, who formed part of the investigating team, had told the court that their investigations pointed out that the red spots found on a pair of shorts that was retrieved during the pointing out were blood stains.
The police officer told the court that Lukhele voluntarily led them to his house, where they recovered the shorts and an okapi knife that was allegedly used to kill Mavimba.
However, Sibandze argued that the red spots found on the shorts were not blood stains. He submitted that his client had informed him that the shorts were stained by beetroot a day before he was arrested. Sibandze also asked the police officer if the shorts were taken to a laboratory for forensic analysis.
In response, Mhlongo maintained that their investigations pointed out that the red spot on the shorts allegedly worn by Lukhele during the commission of the offence were blood stains. He stated that even though they handed over the exhibits to the scenes of crime officers, he was made to understand that the shorts were taken to a laboratory for forensic analysis.
Sibandze had put to the police officer that the pointing out was never voluntarily done. The lawyer told the court that his client had informed him that he was assaulted at the police station prior to the pointing out. He claimed that even at the scene, the okapi knife was retrieved by a third person. “My client has instructed me that he never showed you any knife,” Sibandze submitted.
In response, the officer of the law maintained that the pointing out was voluntarily. He stated that it took place in the presence of two independent witnesses. Lukhele was arrested and charged with his brother Banele, who was however, not present during trial. Mhlongo told the court that Banele also pointed an okapi knife he allegedly used during the commission of the offence. He stated that Banele pointed out the clothes he was wearing when he allegedly committed the offence.
The matter has been postponed to March 7, 2023. Acting Judge Fikile Nhlabatsi stated that the court wanted the assault allegations clarified.