Krejcir trial: ‘Boiling water witness lying’

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Copy of ss Rodovan Krejcir 03 (40351514) INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Radovan Krejcir in court.

Johannesburg - A man claiming to have been kidnapped and assaulted by Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others is not telling the truth, a Johannesburg court heard on Thursday.

“We want to put it to you that you never complained to the police about being kidnapped, assaulted, and burnt with boiling water because it never happened,” said Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir.

She was cross-examining Bheki Lukhele in the High Court in Johannesburg sitting in Palm Ridge.

Van den Heever said the doctor who examined Lukhele had not made any notes about any bruising and injuries he could have suffered from being kicked and assaulted.

“Whatever marks or scarring you have, have nothing to do with any incident that happened on June 25 last year or around that period,” she told Lukhele.

“Peeling of skin is not first degree burns. It could be third or second.”

Lukhele has testified that the skin on the top of his head peeled off after Krejcir poured a kettle of boiling water over his head.

Van den Heever said her client would deny ever meeting Lukhele.

Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, warrant officers Samuel Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya have been charged for Lukhele's kidnapping, assault, and attempted murder.

Lukhele has testified that he was kidnapped in a bid to make him reveal the whereabouts of his brother, Doctor, who had disappeared with 25kg of tik, allegedly belonging to Krejcir.

Doctor had worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport and had been tasked with transporting the drugs to Australia.

Van den Heever said Krejcir would deny ever assaulting, ordering an assault, or kidnapping Lukhele.

“I don't agree with what is being said,” Lukhele replied.

The soft-spoken Zulu man, who sat slumped in the dock, testified through an interpreter.

Van den Heever showed him a picture of Paul O'Sullivan who she claimed was widely reported as being the main investigator in the case.

Lukhele said he did not know the man in the picture, neither did he recall ever being interviewed by him.

Van den Heever accused the prosecution on Wednesday of keeping Lukhele's original medical documents from the defence.

The alleged victim was then asked to describe one of the two policemen allegedly part of the attack.

Lukhele had testified that he had given police a description of this policeman, George Nthoroane, the fourth accused in the trial.

He said Nthoroane had flashed his police identity card at him before he and several others assaulted and kidnapped him from his Katlehong home in June last year.

"Don't look at him," said Riaan Gissing, for Nthoroane, asking him to give the description of his client which he had given to police.

"I said he had a round face. I also described his nose. It was a slightly pointy noise. He was quite hefty. I described his complexion and said he was dark," Lukhele said.

Lukhele, who sat in a relaxed manner in the witness box, rubbed his chin and looked at Judge Collin Lamont as he recalled his description.

Nthoroane, wearing a black jacket, his bald head shiny, smiled as Lukhele described him.

Gissing, who was cross-examining Lukhele, rejected Lukhele's description.

"This description fits millions of Africans," said Gissing, who represents three of the six accused.

"I agree with you. But if you see someone's face, I don't think you'd have a problem identifying them," Lukhele replied.

Asked to give details about Nthoroane's weight, Lukhele said he did not know "whether he was fat as a result of his diet or he was born that way".

He testified that he had not given the police a description of his height.

Referring back to his statement though, it seemed Lukhele had told police that he was a tall man.

Gissing, however, said his client did not regard himself as tall but was of medium height, even short.

He accused Lukhele of deviating from his police statement as it did not match his client's description.

The trial continues. - Sapa



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