Ntumba murder accused 'did not report shooting to commanders'

Mpho Koka Journalist
The four police officers accused of killing Mthokozisi Ntumba at an earlier court hearing.
The four police officers accused of killing Mthokozisi Ntumba at an earlier court hearing.
Image: Alon Skuy

The four police officers accused of shooting and killing Mthokozisi Ntumba could not explain to their seniors what had happened on the day.

This according to Lt-Col Busisiwe Moeketsi, who testified in the high court in Johannesburg on Tuesday in the trial of the officers.

Moeketsi, who is from the public order policing unit in Diepkloof, Soweto, and has been a police officer for 26 years, was one of the commanders who were in charge of the patrol operation on March 10.

The two commanders also had to control the protesting students and give instructions to officers on the ground.

Moeketsi told the court that a Johannesburg metro police officer alerted her about  the shooting on De Beer Street in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

The University of the Witwatersrand students were protesting over historic debt and demanding to be  registered.

“I had just come back from my patrol on Empire Road. I had arrived at Jorissen Street and the traffic was flowing well after we had managed to minimise the student protests earlier and removed the tyres and rocks that barricaded the road. As I was waiting, a police nyala emerged.

Lt-Col Busisiwe Moeketsi testifying at the Johannesburg High Court.
Lt-Col Busisiwe Moeketsi testifying at the Johannesburg High Court.

“Accused 3 [Madimetja Legodi, 37] and 4 [Victor Mohammed, 51] came out of the nyala. They told me they have arrested four students. I asked them why and how they were arrested. While we were discussing, a group of students came towards us. I then told them [Legodi and Mohammed] to take the students to the police station,” said Moeketsi.

“A JMPD officer then approached me and said there was a shooting on the other street and a person was injured. The officer said it is alleged police driving in a nyala are the ones who shot the injured person. I requested the officer to give me the name of the victim and where the incident is said to have taken place,” said Moeketsi.

She said she went to De Beer Street and while standing further back from the scene, she saw a group of students singing.

“The students looked angry, so I decided it would be best not to go to them and engage them. There were also other officers at the scene. I went back to Jorissen Street. I asked Legodi and Mohammed what happened on De Beer Street and they said they just drove by there and could not give me more information. I asked the other officers and I could not get any information from them,” said Moeketsi.

Ntumba, 35, was gunned down shortly after visiting his doctor for a consultation at MyClinic Health Care on De Beer Street.

Moeketsi said she then proceeded with her patrol duties on the day of the shooting and knocked off from work at 6pm without knowing what happened on the day Ntumba died.

Officers Tshepiso Kekana, 27, Cidraas Motseothatha, 43, Legodi, and Mohammed, face charges of murder and three counts of attempted murder and have pleaded not guilty.

Moeketsi said she only became fully aware of the incident the following day.

“Accused 4 came to my office and asked me if I saw the video going viral on social media. I asked him which one. He unlocked his phone and showed the video. I looked at the video and saw a nyala and police officers in possession of shotguns [that fire rubber bullets]. He [Mohammed] said it was him in the video. I asked him where this is and what happened.

“I asked him [Mohammed] if he had shown the video to [the other commander on duty on the day] Capt [Mkhanyiseli] Shange and his response was ‘Eish, eish, eish...’ I then dismissed him and carried on with my work.”

Moeketsi said later that day she was called to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate offices to view the footage of the incident. She said through the footage she saw a nyala and officers and Shange identified them.

The officers, who were wearing masks covering their faces in court, were at certain moments whispering among themselves during the proceedings and looking down at certain times.

Two of Ntumba’s cousins were present in court.

The trial resumes on Wednesday with the cross-examination of Moeketsi.

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