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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Trial in a trial to rule on three's confession

By unknown | Nov 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

The Johannesburg high court has to decide whether three men accused of killing two Hillbrow landlords confessed willingly or under duress.

The men, from Dube Hostel, are alleged to have been hired by tenants of the flats Park Mews to kill the landlords to stop a pending eviction.

Xolani Ngubane, 24, Jabulani Msomi, 28, and Njabulo Mngoma, 31, are said to have confessed to being paid R20000 by the tenants to kill their landlords, Mthandeni Kunene and Charles Joubert, in 2005.

However, the three men deny any involvement in the murder, saying they only confessed because the police coerced them.

This has led to the murder trial being put on hold, while the trial within a trial proceeds to determine whether the police used any force against the accused.

According to testimony by Lebogang Magalefa, who interpreted between Ngubane and the magistrate during the confession, the accused said he was never threatened or assaulted by the police.

"The confession was made at the Johannesburg magistrate's court and the only people present were myself, the magistrate and the accused," Magalefa said.

"He [Ngubane] was asked if he had been beaten or threatened into confessing, and he said no.

"When they were finished, the statement was read to him and he confirmed it was true," said Magalefa.

However, during cross- examination by the defence, it emerged that at some point a police officer was present during Ngubane's confession.

Because of the shortage of witnesses, the trial was postponed to May 5 next year.


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