Lawyer attacks reputation of IPHC murders investigator
Lawyers representing the accused in the armed attack on the Modise church last month have questioned the investigating officer’s knowledge of the church and all that happened before the killing of five people on July 11.
Sergeant George Maditse spent about two hours on the witness stand in the Westonaria magistrate’s court on Tuesday questioned by defense attorneys Barry Roux and Eric Bryer.
Roux represents a group of accused from number 19 to accused number 42, with the exception of accused 34 and 35 who are represented by Bryer.
Bryer asked Maditse if he knew the total membership of the International Pentecos Holiness Church ( IPHC), as the Modise church is formally known, and conceded he did not.
“You are the investigating officer in this matter and you have no idea how many members the church has.
“Are you aware that there are 38 branches of the church?
“Have you examined the constitution of the church,” Bryer asked, to which Motsitse said no.
“You are the investigating officer and you don’t even know the constitution of the church,” Bryer said.
Bryer asked him if he knew how the church is run through its executive, the factions involved in the leadership dispute.
Maditse was not pleased with the line of questioning and how it was linked to his job of investigating the attacks at the church's headquarters in Zuurbekom in the early hours of Saturday July 11.
“Your worship, I don’t know how is that relevant. I am not investigating a civil matter. I am investigating a criminal matter,” Maditse said.
Bryer asked him if he knew details of other criminal cases that have been opened in relation to IPHC.
“As we are standing here your worship, all those dockets relating to the church are taken by the provincial branch. I don’t know the contents of those cases,” Maditse said.
However, he added that he was aware of an attack in Cape Town and another one which took place at a farm.
Maditse, who told the court he had been a police officer in the area for 15 years, said he wanted all the 42 accused to remain in custody until the matter went to trial.
The attack is believed to be linked to the leadership battle in the church.
The accused face charges of murder, attempted murder, being in possession of unlicensed firearms and public violence.
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