Dumi Masilela murder accused 'confessed to crime'

Dumi Masilela
Dumi Masilela
Image: Tsheko Kabasia

A senior police officer has told the North Gauteng High Court that one of the men allegedly involved in the murder of actor Dumi Masilela confessed to the crime shortly after his arrest in 2017.

Col Mhlanganyelwa Moses Mbotho, who is attached to the SAPS' Randburg detective unit, told the court that during an interview, Bongani John Masombuka, 34, confessed to being involved in the botched hijacking of Masilela's car in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, in August 2017.

Mbotho said Masombuka made a verbal confession to the officers who apprehended him in Rustenburg, North West, on August 8 2017.

Masombuka along with Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, 30, Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, 27, Brian Makhubedu, 24, and Mashudu Malema, 31, are facing 11 charges ranging from murder to robbery and kidnapping.

"The officers told him that he would have to repeat the statement to an independent police officer," Mbotho said.

Asked what an independent officer meant, he said: "It's an officer who has no interest in the matter and has no prior knowledge of the case."

The detective, who has 31 years' experience, said he then explained to Masombuka his rights, which the accused said he understood.

He said Masombuka said he wished to make a confession statement in connection to the night of Masilela's attempted hijacking but did not reveal the contents to the court.

Mbotho said he asked Masombuka: "'Have you been assaulted or threatened by any person to come and make a statement?' He said 'no'."

Mbotho said each question was read in English and Zulu because the accused was fluent in both languages, despite being Tsonga.

Masombuka was asked whether he was promised anything to make the statement. "He said he was not promised any rewards or benefit."

Masombuka was asked if he made a verbal or written statement to anyone and to state to who and where it was made.

According to Mbotho, the accused said: "The police who fetched me from Rustenburg and brought me to Gauteng."

Mbotho said Masombuka said he was not injured and was under no threat to confess to his role in the commission of the crimes.

Earlier on, W/O Phafane Ratale testified that he was one of the officers who transported Masombuka to Mbotho's office in Randburg where he made the confession statement. He denied Masombuka had physical injuries, save for bruising around his wrists and legs caused by the handcuffs and leg irons.

The trial continues.

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