Doubts cast on Krejcir State witness

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IOL pic july4 Radovan Krejcir profile closeup Independent Newspapers Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir. File picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir's lawyer on Wednesday told the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, that a State witness had lied.

“It never happened. He was never a witness to this and that is why he is not in a position to tell the court,” Annelene van den Heever said while cross-examining Bhekizitha Khumalo.

Khumalo on Tuesday told the court he was present when a man called Doctor, who allegedly disappeared with drugs, unpacked a black sports bag containing 25 parcels of drugs at a house in June last year.

On Wednesday, Van den Heever brought to court parcels of various sizes that she had made, and a black sports bag.

She questioned Khumalo on the size of the black bag and brought a box to court with similar dimensions.

Khumalo estimated the size of the parcels and bag based on her examples.

When questioned on what was unpacked from the bag, he said: “Twenty-five (parcels) came out of the sports bag.”

Van den Heever responded: “That bag does not fit 25 bags. Twenty-five bags are way too many.”

In June last year, Doctor allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) he had been tasked with transporting to Australia, allegedly for Krejcir. Doctor worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.

Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng and George Nthoroane, and Jan Lefu Mofokeng and Siboniso Miya face charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, and dealing in drugs.

They allegedly kidnapped Doctor's brother Bheki Lukhele from his home in Katlehong, East Rand, in June last year.

Lukhele has testified about how he was bound, blindfolded, assaulted and had boiling water poured over him, allegedly by Krejcir, for him to reveal Doctor's whereabouts.

All the accused have denied involvement in the matter.

On Tuesday, Khumalo was called as the new State witness. He said he worked with Doctor and testified in court about their dealings.

Khumalo told the court Doctor had asked him to accompany him to Kempton Park where they collected a black bag from Luphondo.

The court heard during cross-examination by prosecutor Louis Masheane, that along the way the bag was handed to a man driving a white Navara after Doctor had said it contained drugs.

“We then drove behind the Navara until I saw a place with nice houses for rich people.”

The bag, containing 25 small parcels wrapped in silver-grey plastic, was opened at one of the houses. Khumalo demonstrated the size of the parcels with his hands.

The court heard that Khumalo received a call from Luphondo that night telling him he could not get hold of Doctor and he wanted the bag.

Khumalo said later that day they met Luphondo who told them he wanted the bag because “Krejcir was fighting with him”.

On Wednesday, Van den Heever questioned Khumalo on what happened on June 22 last year, when they went to fetch the black bag.

As Khumalo answered questions he occasionally looked at Krecjir and his co-accused who all sat looking at him.

Khumalo said Doctor knew the bag contained drugs. He said in the car Doctor said: “I am not in Johannesburg for people to make a fool out of me. This bag contains drugs.”

Khumalo said he assumed the people Doctor was speaking about wanted him to transport drugs, but Doctor never said as much.

The trial continues.

Sapa



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