Man accuses police of framing him in deadly 'lover’s triangle'

A man on trial for murdering his ex-wife's lover claims police officers framed him. File photo.
A man on trial for murdering his ex-wife's lover claims police officers framed him. File photo.
Image: 123RF/albund

A KwaZulu-Natal man charged with killing the lover of his estranged wife on the outskirts of KwaDukuza in November 2021 has accused police officers of framing him.

Phumlani Sangweni was being questioned by his defence attorney Patrick  Mkumbuzi in the Durban high court on Tuesday.

In an indictment, the state alleged Sangweni killed John Bhengu who died at Stanger Hospital. He is also charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances relating to a cellphone and car keys belonging to Bhengu which were taken. He faces a charge of unlawful possession of a prohibited firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.  

Sangweni said he was married to Snenhlanhla Mbambo but suspected her of cheating with Bhengu.

He admitted he had previously made contact with Bhengu and told him to “stop” what he was doing with Mbambo as they were married.

In January last year, police officers raided Sangweni's home where a firearm was allegedly discovered in his room.

In court, Sangweni said he was upset about how police conducted the raid and the way he was arrested. He alleged that they had “framed him” for the murder.

“On our way out one officer told my wife what transpired [the murder and arrest] should not cause a rift and be the cause of our break-up. I was confused because the police knew what they had done was wrong and that I am a good man who never owned a firearm,” said Sangweni.

He said the officers also told his wife she should not borrow money to pay his bail.

Sangweni claimed one officer told him to calm down during his arrest or he would be “slapped” with further charges.

When he was taken to the police station, officers did not question him. All they did was make him sign a piece of paper. 

“When I signed this they did not read out anything to me,” said Sangweni.

The trial is expected to resume on Wednesday. 


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.