Cop, Krejcir lawyer at loggerheadsComment on this story
Johannesburg - A police officer testifying in the trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others on Monday explained the sensitivity of the information requested from him by the defence.
Captain Bongani Gininda explained that entries in his diary coupled with his cellphone records would show he was at a certain place at a certain time.
“This is information that cannot be disclosed as it is sensitive,” he told the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge.
Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir and Desai Luphondo, was pushing to obtain these records as she claimed they would indicate where Gininda was when he received a call from another officer requesting him to come in as an independent officer and take the confession statement from Luphondo.
Police diaries usually record all activities that police officers engage in daily.
Gininda said while he had no problem handing over the information required, his location could be tracked as cellphone towers measured up to a certain radius.
“The towers also show how long you were in a specific location for,” said Gininda.
Van den Heever also asked him about the whereabouts of his logbooks.
“I don't have them but I know where they are kept,” he said.
The trial was adjourned last week Wednesday and for a short while on Monday to allow Gininda to furnish his vehicle records, diary and notebook to the court.
He had only produced his vehicle records.
“Did you do a diligent search 1/8for your diary and logbooks 3/8?” Van den Heever asked him.
Gininda said no. He told the court his superiors had told him that the request to have these documents was not directly made to them.
The court is currently in a trial-within-a-trial after Van den Heever submitted that the confession could not be accepted as evidence because her client had allegedly been assaulted and influenced by police into making it.
Earlier, Van den Heever requested that Judge Colin Lamont make an order to make certain evidence available to the court.
Gininda who began testifying in the trial last week has told the court that Luphondo assured him he had not been assaulted or intimidated into the confession.
Gininda was not part of the investigations at the time the statement was taken.
He was, however, later placed in a national task team which began investigating other charges against Krejcir and Luphondo.
As the proceedings unfolded on Monday, Lamont and Van den Heever were once again at loggerheads.
Questioning the relevance of a question posed by Van den Heever, Lamont seemingly took offence at the response she offered.
“It is very rude for you to address me in that manner,” Lamont said to Van den Heever.
“You've seen your conduct to me being addressed in the papers... When I'm addressing you, you need to look at me,” Lamont told Van den Heever.
Van den Heever apologised to Lamont.
Last week, the tension between Lamont and Van den Heever also boiled over.
Lamont lashed out at her for allegedly making gestures with her hands and eyes.
“These are the little thing that you do that irritate me about you. It doesn't help to pull your lip and look at the sky,” he said.
Two cameramen from the SABC who were in court for the proceedings also came into the judge's firing line on Monday.
Last week, Gininda requested that no audio or visual footage of him be broadcast.
On Monday, the cameramen positioned themselves in court with their headphones over their heads until they got a stern reprimand from Lamont.
One of them shyly told the judge that he was not recording.
Lamont, however, said this was against the order he had given.
He said security would need to look through their footage.
“We'll deal with the matter later,” he said.
Krejcir, Luphondo, warrant officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya faced charges of kidnapping, attempted murder and dealing in drugs.
They allegedly recruited a man known as Doctor Nkosi to help smuggle 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) to Australia.
He worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport, and disappeared with the shipment.
Krejcir and his co-accused allegedly then kidnapped and tortured his brother, Bheki Lukhele, in a bid to have him reveal his sibling's whereabouts.
Nkosi has also testified in the trial, and confessed to stealing the drugs.