Nateniel Julies shooting scene was 'not cordoned off'
A senior police officer who was on standby when Nateniel Julies was gunned down says removing a victim from a shooting scene is against protocol as this was tantamount to tampering with the scene.
Lt-Col James Chauke, who is attached to the Eldorado Park police station’s visible policing unit, told the high court in Johannesburg sitting in the Palm Ridge magistrate's court on Thursday that he had never seen a police officer transporting a wounded victim to hospital using a state vehicle.
Chauke was being led through his testimony by state prosecutor Adv Johan Badenhorst in the trial against three police officers implicated in the murder of Julies on August 26 last year.
Const Caylene Whiteboy and Sgt Scorpion Ndyalvane face a charge of murder, defeating the ends of justice and possession of prohibited ammunition.
Sgt Forster Netshiongolo faces a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact and defeating the ends of justice. Ndyalvane and Netshiongolo both face a charge of perjury.
Ndyalvane is accused of removing Julies from the scene near his home and driving him to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Diepkloof, Soweto.
“If something like that happens [Nateniel's shooting], it is the duty of the attending officer to cordon off the scene. Taking a victim to hospital amounts to tampering with the scene,” said Chauke.
Badenhorst asked Chauke whether it was common practice for wounded victims to be transported with a state vehicle to hospital, and Chauke responded by saying: “If you injure someone, you close the scene and call the ambulance. After that, you call the role players who are the duty officer, station commander, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the photographers,” said Chauke.
He further told the court that he worked with Ndyalvane for eight years and he had never seen him use the state vehicle to take someone to hospital.
On Wednesday, Chauke testified that on the night of the shooting, Netshiongolo called him to the scene of the shooting.
Chauke said he was left confused when he arrived at the scene because it was not cordoned off nor was there a strong presence of police officers. “I told him that there is no scene here because nowhere was it cordoned off. He then told me he had two exhibits and he gave me two live rounds and he said he found them at the scene,” said Chauke.
He also testified that Ndyalvane booked out a firearm used in the shooting without ammunition, which is also against protocol.
The trial was adjourned to Friday when lawyers of the accused are expected to cross-examine Chauke.