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Pretoria - One of four men arrested for the murder of Johannesburg cluster commander Maj-Gen Tirhani Maswanganyi does not have money and will not abscond if released on bail, the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court heard on Friday.
Johann Engelbrecht SC, for Ndaedzo Isaac Vele, cross-examined provincial investigating unit commander Colonel Abednego Shibiri regarding police evidence against his client.
“I have a problem in this matter. You come here to oppose bail in this matter on the basis of the expectation that further evidence will receive A, B, or C. Where are the cellphones and the ipad 1/8of Maswanganyi 3/8?”
Shibiri said ongoing investigations would disclose the people who took the murdered policeman’s property.
Engelbrecht was not convinced: “Oh please, you don’t know that the further investigation will recover the cellphones and the ipad. You hope that, possibly.”
Shibiri said his hopes were pinned on the investigations currently underway. However, Engelbrecht contended there was no evidence placing his client at the scene of the crime.
Vele, Nditsheni Daniel Nefolovhodwe, Tshepo Mosai, and Roger Godfrey Moseki are accused of killing the senior policeman.
Maswanganyi was found dead in a field near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, near the R101, in June.
His hands and feet were bound. A police patrol found Maswanganyi’s abandoned Isuzu bakkie next to the road. A police uniform and police identification card were in the bakkie, which prompted a search.
Three of the four accused, including Vele, are members of SA National Defence Force.
Engelbrecht said, in their investigations, the team led by Shibiri had found that Vele was penniless and therefore could not manage to escape and start afresh in another country.
“His financial position is virtually zero. No money is in the possession of the accused which would enable him to leave and stay out of the country.
“You also confirmed his residential address and found that he has a pregnant girlfriend whom he is planning to marry.”
“I am a police officer and in my experience, people have left countries without a cent. People also come into countries without a cent,” he said.
“We confirmed about the girlfriend but I cannot say anything about him wanting to marry her. He (Vele) is the one who knows that.”
Shibiri told the court evidence linking Vele to the crime was his own confession, admissible in court.
Engelbrecht said Vele would surrender his passport to the police in a bid to increase his chances for bail.
Shibiri said investigations had revealed so far that Vele had been out of South Africa 16 times.
Last month, Shibiri testified that the four held several meetings prior to the Maswanganyi murder.
“After a meeting to kill General Maswanganyi was (held) on June 12, the accused - Vele, Nefolovhodwe, Mosai and Moseki - drove to Roodeport in an army vehicle with military plates,” said Shibiri.
“We have footage of the garage where they parked and money was withdrawn (for the acquisition of a firearm). That money was shared between accused three and four (Mosai and Moseki).”
Subsequent meetings were held and indications were that another general, identified as General Nkonyane, who lived in Naturena, was also supposed to be killed.
“It is accused four (Moseki), who was chairing the meeting, who suggested that there was another general who needed to be eliminated,” Shibiri testified in September.
“He told the other accused that that general had caused many police officers to lose their jobs.”
The bail application continues.