Accused return to Jeppestown

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

The Jeppestown massacre 11 accused yesterday returned to the house of mayhem where four policemen and eight robbers died in a bloody shootout.

This was the first time that the men had returned to the house in Jeppestown after their arrest on June 25 2006.

As part of the trial in the Johannesburg high court, the accused, the judge, the prosecutors and the defence lawyers conducted an inspection in loco at the house in Mourdant Street in Jeppestown.

Though the house has since been renovated, has new occupants and shows no sign that it was once the scene of a gun battle, the accused were able to point out where they were inside the house on the day in question.

The decision to conduct an inspection came from defence lawyers who wanted information relating to the scene of the crime. The state closed its case last week after calling 38 witnesses instead of the 99 who were originally scheduled to testify.

The second accused to take the witness stand was Sizwe Dlamini, 24, who claimed to have been a taxi driver who was allegedly hijacked by the robbers.

"I was hijacked while driving a taxi and instructed to drive to a house in Jeppestown. They instructed me to sit inside one of the bedrooms and took my car keys. During the shootout, I hid under a bed," he said.

Dlamini and his co-accused allegedly robbed a Pick 'n Pay supermarket in Honeydew in June 2006. They later allegedly engaged in a shootout with police who had gone to the house in Jeppestown with the aim of arresting them. During a five-hour standoff, four policemen and eight robbers were shot dead.

The trial continues.