'Cops tortured me to confess to killing'

A MAN arrested over the killing of a top police officer told the Pretoria high court yesterday he was forced to make a confession.

A MAN arrested over the killing of a top police officer told the Pretoria high court yesterday he was forced to make a confession.

The 27-year-old suspect is being tried with the widows - she is also 27 - of the murdered top cop.

The 50-year-old hubby was was shot dead in his garage in Pretoria on September 19 2008.

"I was at a birthday party with (the widow) earlier," the male suspect told the court.

"We left at about 6pm and went to her house but I left at about 7pm. I was playing dice with friends at a tavern at about 9pm when police appeared. They hit me in the forehead with a gun, threw me to the ground and cuffed me."

He said they took him to his girlfriend to search for a gun but could not find it.

"They then took me to the police station where I was asked to make a statement about what happened at the deceased's house. I told them I did not know and four police officers then took me to a hostel where I was tortured.

"I suffocated until I passed out. They took me back to the police station where I regained consciousness. I asked them to take me to the hospital because I was dizzy and bleeding but they refused. I was again asked to make a statement in which I lied so they would stop assaulting me," he said.

The suspect said a police officer ordered him to go to the toilet while making the statement.

"He said he knew that I wanted to urinate so I should go to the toilet. When I returned he told me that everything that was written in the statement was my exact words and he would not read it to me. He then told me to sign the statement," he said.

On Wednesday the widow's 11-year-old daughter testified that her mother's co-accused was at their house when her father was killed. "He (suspect) went to sit with my father in the garage where he ran a spaza shop when we returned from my grandmother's birthday party. My sister and I were playing with my mother's hair when we heard a gunshot from the garage.

"I saw suspect coming out of the garage with a green bag under his armpit. He told my mother that he was leaving and she should tell him what had happened and he left. When we went into the shop we found my father lying on the floor dead," she said.

The trial continues today.

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