Johannesburg - A State witness testifying in the trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir caused the presiding judge to laugh and turn red in High Court proceedings at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
Judge Collin Lamont had been serious throughout proceedings, but joined the rest of the court in laughter as Boksburg businessman Paul Vusi Msimango explained in an animated way why he did not inform his policeman friend that his colleagues intended kidnapping and assaulting Bheki Lukhele in a bid to get his brother, Doctor.
“Why would I inform the police when I myself wanted to eat?” Msimango said during cross-examination by Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir.
“All I wanted was to get the bag (containing the drugs),” said Msimango.
“Uyabopha lomuntu (that man makes arrests),” said Msimango, referring to his friend, Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba.
Doctor, who worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International airport had allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik that he had been tasked to help transport to Australia. Msimango had been recruited to try and find him and the drugs.
Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jess Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya face charges of dealing in drugs, and the attempted murder and kidnapping of Lukhele.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
Msimango said one of the accused, Desai Luphondo had asked for his services in finding Doctor because crystal meth (tik) was his “line of business”.
“I know crystal meth,” Msimango told the court, admitting that he was not a law-abiding citizen.
“I wouldn't say I am a person who would not commit a crime. I would commit a crime,” he said.
He told the court he had been arrested numerous times, convicted of one crime and had spent several years behind bars.
Msimango explained why he had come clean with the police about his involvement in Lukhele's kidnapping and assault.
“Police made a request to us to tell them the truth. They were not looking for us,” he said.
“They said if we write statements we can go and sleep at home.
The court heard that Lukhele had been bound and assaulted after being taken from his home in Katlehong. Krejcir poured boiling water over his head, said Msimango.
After considering killing him, Krejcir changed his mind. Lukhele was left next to a stadium in Katlehong.
The trial continues.