Krejcir witness can’t remember statement

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Radovan Krejcir File picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - A man allegedly kidnapped and doused with boiling water by Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others cannot recall making a third statement to police, he said in court on Tuesday.

The statement, which contains his signature, was presented to the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge.

“I'm not denying (making) it... It's just that I can't remember,” Bheki Lukhele said.

Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir, said the statement was made in Pretoria on November 16 last year, almost five months after the alleged attack.

The officer who took down the statement also recorded it in the investigation diary.

Van den Heever said she would give Lukhele time to go through the statement during the lunch adjournment. After the adjournment, Lukhele said he battled to read the handwriting.

Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, warrant officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya are on trial for allegedly kidnapping, assaulting, and attempting to murder Lukhele.

They allegedly did so for him to reveal the whereabouts of his brother, Doctor. Doctor, who worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport, allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik which he had been tasked to transport to Australia, allegedly for Krejcir. Krejcir and his co-accused have denied all the charges.

Lukhele told the court he wa only assaulted on the first night of his capture.

“They beat me up on that night. On the other days they were just keeping me bound,” he said.

He did not report the matter to the police after his captors dumped him near a stadium in Katlehong. This was because his family already reported him missing after he was forcefully taken from his Katlehong home on June 25, 2013 and held captive for almost a week.

“My family had already laid a complaint with the police. I found this out when I returned,” Lukhele said.

He claimed to have waited for the police to follow up on the investigation.

On July 13, a woman officer visited his home. Lukhele said he again did not tell the police officer what had happened.

“My head was still muddled up... I was confused,” he said.

Asked what confused him, Lukhele said: “I was taken away from my home over something I had no knowledge of. I was assaulted and burned. I don't mean that I lost my mind. I just could not comprehend what had happened to me and how to handle it.”

The six accused stared at Lukhele as he gave his account of what had happened to him, speaking softly through an interpreter.

The trial continues.

Sapa


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