Magistrate grills cops over handling of actor Dumi Masilela's case
The gang of armed men who attempted to hijack Rhythm City actor Dumi Masilela in Tembisa last month had seemingly been on a crime spree that evening‚ the Benoni Magistrate’s Court heard on Wednesday.
The vehicle that the group of six men were travelling in had been hijacked in Daveyton earlier that evening. The vehicle’s owner was in the car with them as they attempted to hijack Masilela.
Despite this‚ two of the six men arrested are yet to be linked to Masilela’s murder and currently only face a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances for hijacking Trevor Shabangu‚ the owner of a black Jeep.
As the matter was heard before Magistrate Elmari Schutte‚ she tore into the police’s investigation.
Detective Mthokozisi Ngwenya told the court that Mfundo Nkosi‚ who is one of two appearing before the court‚ had handed himself over to police on August 15 after he had heard that his friend Bongani Masombuka had been arrested in connection with another crime.
In his confession‚ Nkosi is alleged to have told police that he was there when Masilela was killed but he was not the triggerman.
He claimed another of his accomplices‚ who is currently in police custody for possession of an unlicensed firearm in Germiston‚ had fired the shot that wounded Masilela‚ who later died at the Tembisa Hospital.
But Schutte scrutinised the police’s case.
Police had also failed to conduct an identity parade with the Jeep owner and another witness‚ who claimed to have seen the gunman who had pounced on Masilela in Tembisa‚ fatally wounding him.
“An ID parade was conducted but [the alleged gunman] refused to stand at the ID parade‚” said detective Ngwenya.
He said he had no powers over that as the Masilela murder investigation was not his matter.
He said he was only handling Shabangu’s hijacking.
“But what evidence do you have in this case that has received a lot of publicity when the provincial investigation team‚ who are meant to be hot shots‚ don’t hold an ID parade?” questioned Schutte.
Ngwenya said they had the confession but this was not admissible in court.
He also revealed that police were yet to do a ballistics test on the firearm found on the alleged triggerman to see if the weapon found in his possession could be linked to the bullet that fatally wounded Masilela.
While the hijacked Jeep was recovered a day later‚ police are yet to receive the report containing the fingerprint evidence.
The matter was postponed to allow Ngwenya to contact forensics officials to see whether the report was concluded.
Nkosi‚ who sat side by side with Masombuka‚ was applying for bail. Masombuka was not.
The pair are currently only facing a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.