'Widow assisted with probe'

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

The widow of murdered Limpopo pharmacist Andrew Tladi was driven around in police cars for days before she was brought before court, her counsel told the Middleburg high court yesterday.

Defence advocate Johan van Wyk said during cross examination of Senior Superintendent Khwara Nengwekhulu, that police had detained Kgomotso Tladi for several days before bringing her to court on on January 2 2005.

She was arrested on December 29 2004, but the police did not read her her rights at the time, said Van Wyk.

By so doing, he added, the police were trying to circumvent the law.

Nengwekhulu told the court that Tladi was arrested on December 31 and she appeared in court a day after New Years' Day.

He confirmed that Tladi was in the company of the police from December 29 2004, but she was not a suspect.

"We only viewed her as a widow who wanted to know the murderers of her husband", said Nengwekhulu.

"During that time she assisted us with investigations and we appreciated that," he told the court.

Tladi, Eva Sithole, Samson Mogalaka and Gilbert Makhobela have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, defeating the ends of justice and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The four are charged with the murder of Andrew Tladi at Marble Hall on December 3 2004.

Van Wyk said on December 29 police took Tladi's widow home to bathe and change clothes. She even offered them tea.

Nengwekhulu said this was not how they investigated criminal cases. They would not have allowed that if she was a suspect.

Earlier Nengwekhulu was strongly warned by the judge for having delayed proceedings. He told the court that he was involved in an accident while on his way to court. The trial continues.