‘She took the shotgun and I heard a bang’
Const Mandla Dumisane Sithole testified on Tuesday how the police came to be in Eldorado Park on the day of the fatal shooting on August 26 last year
A police officer who was present when Eldorado Park teenager Nathaniel Julies was fatally shot last year explained how a plan was allegedly concocted immediately after his death to make it look like Julies was caught in crossfire during a gang shooting.
Const Mandla Dumisane Sithole testified on Tuesday how the police came to be in Eldorado Park on the day of the fatal shooting on August 26 last year.
He is a witness in the trial of Const Caylene Whiteboy, Sgt Simon Ndyalvane and Sgt Vorster Netshiongolo, who have been implicated in the murder of the 16-year-old boy who lived with Down syndrome.
On Monday, Whiteboy and Ndyalvane pleaded not guilty to charges of murder. Ndyalvane and Netshiongolo also pleaded not guilty to counts of unlawful possession of ammunition.
All the accused also face a count of defeating the ends of justice, while Netshiongolo is facing a count of perjury.
Sithole said on that day, he had asked for a lift with Ndyalvane, who was going to buy food.
After visiting a few shops Ndyalvane — who was with Whiteboy, Sithole and two other student constables — drove to Eldorado Park following information that a truck parked in front of Hillbrow Flats was carrying stolen car parts.
When the police could not open the back of the truck, they proceeded to eat the food they had bought nearby. A shotgun was in their marked police double-cab bakkie.
Sithole said while they were eating, a boy — Julies — stood next to the truck.
Although the boy came and pointed, Sithole said he could not hear what he was saying.
“Then Whiteboy said the boy is a 064, meaning he is not well, that he is mentally challenged.”
I saw him lying on a stretcher. There were wounds on his chest and a packet of biscuits in his pocket.Const Mandla Dumisane Sithole
Sithole said Whiteboy told him he knew the boy.
Ndyalvane took out a loudhailer attached to the police vehicle and ordered the boy to go away. “The boy left. He did not go for long and came back and stood at the same spot next to the truck,” Sithole said.
Sithole said Whiteboy took the shotgun.
“I just heard a loud bang. She took the shotgun and I heard a bang.”
Sithole said when he looked, Whiteboy had the shotgun pointing outside and he saw the boy lying next to the truck.
Sithole said the loud bang came from inside the police vehicle. When asked what what caused the bang, Sithole said he assumed it was a round from the shotgun.
After the shooting, Sithole said Ndyalvane jumped out of the vehicle and ran towards the boy. He picked up the boy.
He said another constable with them went to the back of the vehicle to open the canopy door and Ndyalvane put Julies inside.
“Ndyalvane came back to the car and we were asking about the boy. He said, ‘It’s bad, it’s bad,’” Sithole said.
The police vehicle drove to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where Julies was declared dead.
“We went inside to look and I saw him lying on a stretcher. There were wounds on his chest and a packet of biscuits in his pocket,” Sithole said.
Sithole said Whiteboy was crying, and Ndyalvane informed the officers to drive the police vehicle back to the police station. He said he would wait at the scene of the shooting for backup.
“Along the way, Whiteboy took the phone and called Ndyalvane, telling him that when commanders arrive, he must inform them there was a gang shooting and the deceased was caught in the crossfire.”
The trial continues.