One of five men accused of killing five officers at Ngcobo police station on February 21 2018 questioned in court this week that he had even appeared in court a week after the event.
Phumzile Mhlatywa, 48, said on Thursday he had received a document to this effect only within the past 24 hours.
Mhlatywa is disputing that he appeared in the magistrate’s court on February 28 2018 separately from his co-accused.
“My prosecutor has a tendency of saying she gave us something when she hasn’t. I won’t be shocked if I see her next year handing me a statement on who my arresting officer was if I start asking [for it in] February,” he said.
However, state prosecutor Nomapha Mvandaba said she had provided all the accused with everything she had.
As the state gets new documents, she supplies the accused with them, she said.
Warrant officer Dumisani Mancoba took the witness stand on Thursday. He was among the officers tasked with investigating the case after the five officers were mowed down in a hail of bullets on February 21.
However, he excused himself on February 25 upon learning that the suspects lived on the Mancoba premises, he told the court.
He explained that he was related to the leaders of the controversial Seven Angels Ministry church by a clan name. He said the father of the Mancoba siblings was an uncle.
Mancoba said he was asked to escort Siphesihle Tatsi to the central police station in Mthatha on February 26 2018.
One of Mhlatywa’s co-accused, Andani Monco, cross-questioning Mancoba, said he met the warrant officer in a room near the holding cells in Ngcobo when he went there to make a statement following his arrest on February 25.
“You said [to me] ‘boy, you have shamed our family name’. Another officer who was wearing glasses mocked you [Mancoba] saying your relatives are doing such things. You insulted the officer in glasses,” Monco put it to Mancoba.
Mancoba said it was not true.
A third co-accused, Kwanele Ndlwana, pursued a similar line of questioning.
“Saying you successfully excused yourself is misleading the court. Do you dispute that?” Ndlwana asked Mancoba.
Mancoba said he did.
The fourth accused, Siphosomzi Tshefu, had no questions for Moncoba.
But Tatsi said: “You are lying to the court that you took me from the [Ngcobo] cells to Mthatha. You took me straight to the garage where I was assaulted, pulled by my testes. After the garage, I went to the car where I met [former captain Thembinkosi] Bambalele and [warrant officer Zwelenkosi] Diko, who took me to [Mthatha central police station].
Mancoba disputed this, adding he had observed Tatsi and seen no injuries.
The five men are facing five counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition. They are representing themselves.
The trial-within-a-trial continues. — DispatchLIVE
By Ziyanda Zweni – DispatchLIVE