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Cape Town - The man accused of masterminding a robbery at the Klapmuts police station, during which an officer on duty was shot and killed, has denied all involvement in the crime.
In an affidavit to the court at his bail application on Monday, Luvuyo Ndevu, a 31-year-old constable at the station, said he would plead not guilty to all existing and future charges against him.
He had “no idea” why he was arrested and remanded in custody, the affidavit read.
This was despite his fingerprints being found at the crime scene and the testimony of a co-accused placing Ndevu at the police station on the night that Warrant Officer Steven Britz, 44, was shot in the head and killed. During the robbery an M5 assault rifle, a shotgun and five 9mm semi-automatic pistols were stolen.
Ndevu, Anele Pantsi, Khayelethu Walker, Mlinde Maliso and Buhlali Pokwane – all charged with murder and robbery – appeared for their bail application in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Pantsi, Maliso and Pokwane took the stand to motivate for their release on bail and to answer questions from prosecutor Samantha Raphels, while Ndevu and Walker presented affidavits which were read to the court by their lawyers. During questioning by Raphels, Pantsi was the only one to open up about details of the hours leading up to the Klapmuts robbery and Britz’s murder.
He said he had travelled to the police station with Ndevu, Maliso and three strangers in a white Golf owned by Maliso. Ndevu had apparently told Pantsi that he wanted to pick up some clothes from his place of work.
Pantsi claimed he was drunk, that he knew nothing of robbery plans and that he could not recall whether Walker was in the car.
Ndevu and the three unknown men went into the police station, and came out five minutes later with a bag, Pantsi said. That was on the night of April 16 when Britz was killed by two gunshot wounds to the head while alone on night duty in the charge office. When the patrolling members returned, they found Britz’s lifeless body in a pool of blood.
Ndevu and Pantsi were arrested at a shebeen in Stellenbosch two days later. Follow-up investigations also led to the arrest of Maliso, Walker and Pokwane.
Lawyers for the five accused asked magistrate Marietjie de Villiers for a postponement until Tuesday for arguments to be heard. A postponement was granted.