Johannesburg - The defence in Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir’s trial on Wednesday sought to cast doubt on Peter Msimango’s credibility, pointing out discrepancies in a statement he made to police and his evidence in court.
The defence lawyer, advocate Annelene van den Heever, questioned Msimango’s version of events that he shared with the court during cross-examination that were not included in his statement.
Key to the argument was the use of the word “squabble” in a statement Msimango made to police at Bramley police station. In it Msimango said there was a “squabble” between himself, Krejcir and a man named Paul.
But in court on Wednesday, he said he was confused about the meaning of the word “squabble” as it was not a word he would have used to describe the discussion he had with Krejcir.
“What does the word ‘squabble’ mean? I can’t even pronounce it,” he said, adding the word “squabble” could have been written by the police who took the statement. While he had agreed to the contents of the statement and signed it after it was read to him, he did not pay attention to every detail as he was “in a hurry to get out of there”.
The word got introduced when he explained a tense conversation he had had with Krejcir and a man called Paul, he told the South Gauteng High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.
Krejcir had asked about the nature of his relationship with Colonel Nkosana Ximba. He had replied by saying he knew Ximba “very well”.
Krejcir told him that he heard Ximba was “full of s***”. Msimango agreed, and said Ximba was known not to hesitate to use his gun as he “is trigger happy”.
The tension came after Paul told Krejcir that Ximba could arrest him and that South Africa was unlike lawless countries. Krejcir replied that “no police can arrest me”, Msimango said.
But Van den Heever said her client denied Msimango’s version and blamed police for the contradictions and mistakes in his statement. Discrepancies between Msimango’s statement and evidence in court were due to him not being truthful, she added.
The trial continues.