Evidence disputed in child’s murder

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Copy of Copy of nd simphiwe ngcetutu 14 Simphiwe Ngcetutu in court on murder charge Pic Terry Haywood

Durban - The pointing out to police of the scene of the murder of a 2-year-old boy has been ruled admissible as evidence in the trial of his father.

Smangaliso Nhlengetwa was stabbed to death in August last year. His father, Simphiwe Ngetshu, 34, has been charged with murder and defeating the course of justice by making a false police statement.

Ngetshu had told police he was robbed while walking in Ryde Place in Durban North, and the assailants had killed his son.

During the trial at the Durban Regional Court on Tuesday, a dispute arose on the admissibility of the pointing out as evidence.

The State’s last witness, investigating officer Detective-Warrant Officer Niranjan Inder, told the court he was called to Greenwood Park police station after Ngetshu reported a case of murder and robbery.

Inder testified that he interviewed Ngetshu on August 24, the morning after the incident.

The court heard the accused had confessed to Inder that he had reported a false case and that no robbery had occurred.

Before Inder could finish his sentence, defence attorney Nkosingphile Mlotshwa objected, saying his client alleged that Inder and another white male officer had threatened him with a dog, coercing him to point out the scene.

This dispute gave rise to a trial within a trial in which magistrate Trevor Levitt was to rule whether the pointing out could be admitted as evidence.

Inder told the court that at no stage during the interview had a white male officer been involved. The only white officer Ngetshu had come into contact with was a woman, the duty officer at the time, who accompanied them to the scene to record what was said. Inder could not do this as he was not a commissioned officer.

Inder also denied there was a dog at the station.

Levitt allowed the pointing out to be presented as evidence and the main trial continues on Wednesday.

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