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Durban - AN Inanda man on trial for the murder of his 2-year-old son says police forced him to confess that he was possessed by evil spirits, driving him to commit the crime.
Simphiwe Ngetshu, 34, is accused of stabbing Smangaliso Nhlengetwa to death in August last year.
In the witness stand in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday, Ngetshu said a policeman at the Greenwood Park police station had told him he could see he had been entered by an evil spirit and had killed his son.
Ngetshu had told police earlier that his son had been killed by three assailants who had robbed him of R85 as they had walked up Ryde Road in Durban North.
“When they got close they spread out and accosted me with a knife, one pulling me while the other snatched my son,” he said.
The pair forced him into bush on one side of the road while his son was carried into bush on the other side, Ngetshu said.
“They sat me down in a spot hidden from the road and I couldn’t see what was happening to my son. They searched my pockets and took R85 and my phone. When they pressed the buttons and saw that it would not come on, they threw it at me,” he said.
After what he estimated was about 25 minutes, they left, the court heard.
Ngetshu said he gave it some time before he came out of the bush. He said he ran after his attackers, but saw that the boy was not with them, so went into the bush where his son had been taken.
“As I got into the bush, I saw the child lying on the ground,” said Ngetshu.
He demonstrated how the child’s T-shirt had been partly removed, exposing his left arm and shoulder.
“I could see two of the wounds clearly. They were open but not very big and there was no blood,” he said.
Ngetshu said his son’s body was warm and he was breathing, so he picked him up and went back into the road.
He tried to stop cars for help and when this failed, he decided to walk to his employer’s house.
Ngetshu’s voice quavered as he told the court that two police officers who had taken him to the home he shared with his girlfriend, Balungile Nhlengetwa, had said they would open a serious case against him if he did not tell the truth.
Other officers had already taken a statement from him at the doctor’s office where his employer had taken the child, who was declared dead.
When they found that Nhlengethwa was out, the officers went back to the station with Ngetshu where he said he was coerced.
“That is when I decided to change my statement, to tell a story the officer would be satisfied with,” he said.
Prosecutor Krishen Shah called him “methodical, calculated dishonest and evasive”.
Shah will continue his cross-examination on Thursday.