Johannesburg - A State witness testifying in the trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others on Tuesday admitted he was not a law-abiding citizen.
“I wouldn't describe myself as a law-abiding citizen,” Boksburg businessman Paul Vusi Msimango told the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge.
“I wouldn't say I am a person who would not commit a crime. I would commit a crime,” he said under cross-examination by Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir.
He told the court he had been arrested numerous times, including on one occasion where he stole dollar notes from a mine's offices in Ermelo.
Msimango said he had laid a charge against police officers after they assaulted him, accusing him of stealing a vehicle belonging to an MEC.
“They said I had crossed the vehicle to Dar es Salaam,” said Msimango.
He said he implicated his friend, police Colonel Nkosana
“Killer” Ximba in the incident as he was the one who had lured him to the Johannesburg premises where other police officers assaulted him.
Msimango claimed that when the matter went to trial a false statement was presented. It stated that he had said Ximba was among those who assaulted him. Msimango said this statement did not have his signature on it.
Ximba was cleared of the charges.
Van den Heever said this showed Msimango had a tendency of falsely implicating people.
Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jess Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya face charges of dealing in drugs, attempted murder, and kidnapping. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Led in his evidence-in-chief by prosecutor Louis Mashiane earlier, Msimango told the court he had been recruited to help find a man known as Doctor, who worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport. Doctor apparently disappeared with 25kg of tik that he was tasked to help transport to Australia in June last year.
Msimango said Doctor's brother Bheki Lukhele was kidnapped and assaulted in a bid to make him reveal his brother's whereabouts.
The court was told that Lukhele was bound, assaulted, and had boiling water poured over his head by Krejcir. Msimango said at one point Krejcir ordered that the hat used to cover Lukhele's face be removed.
“He said 'Look at me! You claim to not know where your brother is but you were with him during the day. Perhaps you are preparing to die like a soldier',” Msimango testified.
He told the court that after assaulting Lukhele, Krejcir suggested they murder him so Doctor could be picked up when he attended the funeral. Krejcir later aborted that plan.
“He said he doesn't want to have a reputation of a drug dealer,” Msimango said.
They dropped Lukhele off near a stadium in Katlehong.
Msimango told the court he had not wanted to take part in the kidnapping. He said he was not known as someone who could be hired to carry out a crime.
Msimango further testified that the group wanted him to help find the lost drugs as that was his “line of business”.
“I know crystal meth,” he said.
Msimango said his only source of income came from a catering business he owned.
The trial continues.