Murder accused’s assault claims refuted

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Polokwane - Claims by a man accused of defrauding several people, killing at least four of them, that police assaulted him, were untrue, the High Court in Polokwane heard on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Abbey Kwalipe told the court that the director of public prosecutions had also never made Thomas Mothwa an offer to become State witness, as he had claimed.

Mothwa could not be trusted, as he was a liar and the mastermind of the crimes he and his wife Refilwe were accused of.

“The alleged proposal could never be true. It... never happened that the director of pubic prosecutions made proposals which he (Mothwa) said, so my lord, I want this to be rejected as false,” Kwalipe said.

Mothwa, 43, and his wife have been charged with 53 offences, including murder, attempted murder, robbery, fraud, theft, racketeering, and possession of drugs.

The couple allegedly waited near banks in Limpopo and Rustenburg, North West, and offered people lifts. They allegedly offered their victims cooldrinks laced with drugs and waited until they lost consciousness, before dumping them on the side of the road, throwing them over a bridge, or into a river. They then allegedly stole money from their bank accounts using their bank cards and identity documents. Four people were killed. James Molomo and George Moshoana are still missing.

One of the couple's alleged accomplices, Jan Mohlala, became a State witness and is serving a 35-year prison sentence for his involvement in the crimes.

Captain Patrick Murunwa, a detective based in Rustenburg, testified that Mothwa was found with a cooler bag full of drugs.

One of the Mothwa's alleged victims, Danile Mphahlele died after being attacked, allegedly by the couple, as they sought to take his savings. He was kidnapped in Mookgopong in 2000.

“He died of a deep cut, a severe neck wound... towards his chin,” Kwalipe said.

Cellphone records and ATM withdrawals made in Phalaborwa and Pretoria provided proof that he was robbed.

The couple were allegedly found in possession of 58 bank cards that were not theirs. They allegedly recruited others, including Mohlala, to make fraudulent withdrawals from their victims' bank accounts.

Mothwa allegedly arranged for victims' ID photos to be removed and replaced by Mohlahla to access the victims' accounts.

The alleged crimes were committed between 2000 and 2007.

The trial continues.

Sapa



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