Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence
Pretoria – A trial within a trial was held in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, yesterday after the man alleged to have confessed to his role in the botched hijacking of Rhythm City actor Dumi Masilela cited police brutality.
Suffocation, repeated beatings with a firearm, hard objects and strict instructions on what to do were the gist of the claims by Bongani John Masombuka, 34. He alleged he endured pain at the hands of police at Ivory Park shortly after his arrest.
His lawyer Walter Rankapole questioned the alleged confession his client was said to have made of his own free will to the police.
Colonel Mhlanganyelwa Moses Mbotho had testified on Tuesday that Masombuka informed him he was prepared to make a confession and did so well aware of his rights and the implications thereof.
Mbotho told the court Masombuka had even stated he wished to do so to an independent officer – one not directly linked to the case – as he had been advised by the police.
Rankapole questioned why Mbotho had only taken note of injuries on Masombuka’s hands, but had failed to indicate and observe the cause as he was meant to.
He said the reason for this oversight was because despite Masombuka’s indication that he had been assaulted by police officers at Ivory Park, Mbotho had ignored his pleas and said he was just doing his job.
Mbotho denied this, stating that Masombuka had not shown any signs of being forced to co-operate with him as he was taking down his confession.
According to Rankapole, Masombuka’s injuries to hands and feet, his ear, bruises on his legs and others were as a result of the assault.
Mbotho, who has served as an officer for 31 years, testified that if had he suspected that Masombuka had been under duress to make the confession, he would have stopped, but that was not the case.
Masombuka alleged he was given a list of names by the police after his arrest said to be the friends he had committed the crime with which he denied even knowing, save for one of his co-accused.
Masombuka, alongside Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, 30; Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, 27; Brian Makhubedu, 24; and Mashudu Malema, 31; are facing 11 charges ranging from murder to robbery and kidnapping for the hijacking of Masilela in August 2017.
Masilela was shot in Tembisa by the occupants of a black Jeep. He died in hospital. The trial continues tomorrow.
Published at Wed, 09 Oct 2019 22:05:00 +0000