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Pretoria - The alleged murderers of a Pretoria businessman will hear on Thursday if a High Court in Pretoria judge believes their claims that a racist, white policemen framed them for a murder they did not commit.
Judge Tshifiwa Maumela started delivering his judgment on Wednesday in the trial of lawyer Marabe Talane and Rodney Katang Masemola, who are on trial for the May 2008 murder of Murrayfield businessman Dawie Maree.
Maree, 27, was fatally wounded during a struggle with an armed assailant at his house in front of his wife Elana and his two young children.
Talane and Masemola pleaded not guilty to charges of robbing and murdering Maree, and murdering their alleged accomplice Seporo Martin Tshebesebe.
Tshebesebe was shot dead during the struggle with Maree.
Maree's wife Elana (now Van Breda) testified more than three years ago that she and her husband woke to find an armed assailant standing over their bed and another armed man at the door.
She grabbed their two children from their cots, pushed them onto the floor and threw herself over them while her husband struggled on the bed with one of the men.
She heard shots and saw that her husband had been wounded and was struggling to breathe.
She told the court she prayed out loud for her husband with the attacker groaning in the background while waiting for help to arrive.
A neighbour who later took Maree to hospital, testified that he found him in his bedroom, bleeding from his ears and mouth.
A pathologist testified that Maree had three bullet wounds in his right leg, but died of a bullet wound in his back which entered his chest and exited through his throat.
Police witnesses testified that Talane's fingerprint was found on a window sill where entry had been gained into the house, and that a bolt cutter used to force open the burglar bars was later found in Masemola's room.
The accused admitted to being at Maree's house that day, but claimed they went there because Masemola wanted to borrow money from the Maree's domestic worker.
Talane testified that he waited outside in a vehicle while Masemola and Tshebesebe went inside. He heard shots and saw a wounded Masemola running towards him.
He claimed the police framed him by forcing him to lean on a window sill at the house after his arrest.
However, a fingerprint expert testified that he lifted the fingerprint from the scene before Talane's arrest.
Masemola testified that he and Tshebesebe were standing under a tree outside the house when a dog started barking, Maree came out and shot at both of them.
He said Maree's wife came out while he was struggling with Maree and also fired a shot, which hit her husband.
Masemola spent two months in hospital after being shot in the stomach.
Maumela said the accused's version meant that Mrs Maree must somehow have carried or dragged the wounded men back to the bedroom, but that no blood was found outside.
Masemola's version also meant that Mrs Maree must have been “full of ideas” on how to “construct” the scene for later explanation.