Accused dispute confessions

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Two men accused in the Middelburg circuit court of multiple murder and rape claimed they made their confessions under duress.

Johannes van Rooyen, 27, and Dumisani Makhubela, 28, had earlier accepted the contents of their statements made before magistrates in Witbank and Middelburg.

However, they alleged on Friday that they had been assaulted and told what to say to the magistrates.

They also claimed that the crime scenes they pointed out to police investigators, had been shown to them first.

Neither of the men could identify who exactly assaulted them.

The two are facing 23 charges, including seven brutal murders and seven rapes.

Superintendent Alfred Moukangwe, commander of the provincial tracing team, told the court on Friday that he spotted scratches on Van Rooyen's shoulder and face.

"He told me they had been inflicted on him by cellmates who had accused him of having killed some of their relatives," he said.

Moukangwe said he and his interpreter, Inspector Difaga Malope, met Van Rooyen for the first time on November 15 2005, at the invitation of Captain Godfrey Mahlo.

"He voluntarily led us to the crime scenes, which included five houses and an open veld.

"He told me he knew the incidents and that he would point out the crime scenes."

Other police officers, including the investigating officer Inspector Sikheto Mthombeni, Superintendent Lourens Kritzinger of Witbank detectives (who accompanied Makhubela to the crime scenes), Inspector Mosiwa Hlalele (who transported Van Rooyen from Ogies police station after his arrest), Inspector Samuel Mokoena (who arrested Makhubela after a tip-off from an informer) and Captain Jan Barnard (who arrested Van Rooyen), denied assaulting the two men or influencing them to say what they said in their statements.The hearing continues.