'Confession was made freely'

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

One of the accused in the trial of the murder of the son of former City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu had made a confession and signed it freely, the Johannesburg high court heard yesterday.

Superintendent Moses Mbotho said Arnold Sello made the statement - without duress - at Muldersdrift police station last year.

Sello's lawyer, Bonginkosi Ngubane, told the court that his client would object to the way the statement was taken. "And that would include the contents of the statement," Ngubane said.

Sello, Mulalo Sivhidzho and Ntabudzeni Matsenene are on trial for the murder of Avhatakali Netshisaulu on December 2006. He was hijacked and burnt in the boot of his car.

Mbotho said he was asked by the police to take a statement from Sello. "I was told that they needed a neutral person who did not know anything about the case to take a statement from Sello," he said.

Mbotho, who said he had served in the police force for the past 23 years, said he read Sello his rights as was required.

"I also realised that he had bruises and scratches. He told me he got them during his arrest. He said he was fine and did not need medical attention.

"We then continued with the statement," said Mbotho.

The trial-within-a-trial continues.