Johannesburg - An alleged member of a “follow home” airport hijacking gang claimed he was beaten by police so he would confess and rat on fellow gangsters.

This is the testimony of Thabo Thomson Mamadi, whose trial continued on Thursday in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

He is charged with robbery and the murder of Nigerian Edward Olisah.

Olisah and his girlfriend, Zimbini Makuleni, were followed to the latter’s home in Midrand in January 2008 after she had fetched him from OR Tambo International Airport.

Once they arrived at their gate,

the gang shot Olisah and fled with a travel bag, a cellphone and Makuleni’s handbag.

On Thursday, Mamadi’s advocate, Buhle Madondo, cross-examined a policeman who arrested him.

Warrant Officer Armstrong Ndlala testified that after he had arrested Mamadi in Musina, he took him to Johannesburg Central police station and immediately booked him into a cell.

However, Madondo said his client’s version was that he was taken into an office in the presence of about 10 officers and his hands were bound. “He was tortured and assaulted,” Madondo said, adding police had a list of names of other gang members they wanted Mamadi to identify.

The trial was provisionally postponed to July 24.

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The Star