Gang case ‘relies only on scumbag witness’
Alleged gang boss Wendell Petersen and his co-accused brought an application in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday to be released from custody – claiming the prosecution’s reliance on a single state witness’s testimony showed the case was weak.
Advocate Terry Price SC, on behalf of Petersen and his coaccused, told judge Mandela Makaula that former co-accused-turned state witness Morne Nel, 36, had contradicted himself and concocted a version other than the truth.
“[Nel] was a scumbag witness with every motive to lie,” Price said.
All five accused have been charged with three counts of murder and three counts of conspiracy to commit murder, among other charges.
It is alleged that on September 14 2015, the men shot and killed three people in and around Port Elizabeth.
Price claimed that Nel had been unduly coerced to testify and had intentionally misled the court.
He said the state’s failure to call an alleged witness showed the prosecution had very little to go on.
State prosecutor advocate Mujaahid Sandan said it was his choice to call the witness or not and that Nel had been a credible witness who contacted police investigators to come forward as a state witness, not the other way around.
Makaula said the matter needed consideration.
Judgment is expected on April 25. –