THE LAWYER of the woman accused of killing her ex-husband's seven-year-old niece claimed yesterday that she was severely assaulted by police to force her to reveal where the girl's body had been dumped.
The advocate, Victor Botha, told the Vereeniging circuit court in a trial-within-a-trial that his client, Sizakele Khambule, was assaulted by constables Ewert Ngonelo, Bafana Radebe and Abram Monaheng.
He said the assault took place at Sebokeng police station and continued at a river where Polokego Molefi's body was found.
Botha said: "The accused was severely assaulted by the three officers. She was slapped several times by Ngonelo. He pushed her head into a toilet and flushed. In the police vehicle she was beaten with the blunt side of a panga by Ngonelo."
Throughout the assault Khambule was asked about the missing child.
"The accused then told the three policemen that her former co-accused and younger sister, Zanele Bembe, knew about the child," Botha said.
Both Ngonelo and Radebe denied assaulting Khambule and said she volunteered to cooperate with them after her constitutional rights were explained to her.
Ngonelo said from the police station they took Khambule to Bembe's house, from where they headed to where the child's body was found.
Bembe pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering the child and was sentenced to 15 years in jail last September.
It is alleged that Khambule killed Polokego in order to get back at the girl's uncle, Kagiso Molefi, after their separation.
The trial resumes today.