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Cape Town - The man who was necklaced allegedly at the hands of a well-known activist and three other people, had a motive to falsely implicate two of his alleged killers before he died.
This was among arguments heard in the Western Cape High Court where Angy Peter a leading Social Justice Coalition (SJC) activist; her husband, Isaac Mbadu, who also works for the organisation; Christopher Dina and Azola Dayimane are on trial.
They are accused of the kidnapping and murder of Rowan du Preez, who died in hospital hours after his burnt body was found in Mfuleni on October 14, 2012.
The court has to decide whether Du Preez spoke to three police officers who found him and whether what he told the officers is admissible. The officers said Du Preez implicated Peter and her husband as his killers.
The State wants the evidence admitted.
Prosecutor Phistus Pelesa argued that there was insufficient scientific or medical evidence to prove that Du Preez was unable to utter the words. “Counsel cannot emphatically say he was unable to speak,” he told the court.
Advocate William King, for the defence, said Du Preez had motive because he was facing charges emanating from Peter and her husband.
“He had a reason to get revenge,” King said.
Du Preez died about 18 hours after he was attacked.
Witnesses said that when he was found he stated his full name and address, and described to the police how he was kidnapped and assaulted by Peter and her husband.
He was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital, and according to ambulance personnel, he had been unable to speak.
The defence argues the alleged declaration to the police was a “fabrication” and that police officers colluded on the information supplied.
King said Du Preez was “open to serious criticism” being a known thief and a “lying, cheating gangster”.
Judge Robert Henney, however, said Du Preez’s character had no bearing on the argument at hand.
Henney reserved judgment in the trial-within-a-trial, which is set to continue on Wednesday.