A policeman was accused on Monday of lying in the murder trial of seven officers charged with killing Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane.
“You are an opportunist, you jump around in testimony, but the (court) record has come back to bite you,” said Johann Nel, for the seven policemen, during cross-examination of State witness Constable Kabelo Pule in the Ficksburg Regional Court.
Nel was testing Pule’s testimony that he saw accused number two, Constable Mothusi Magano, firing a shot.
“Just show me the place where accused two fired a shot?” Nel asked while the court again watched videos of Tatane's assault.
When Pule was unable to clearly indicate at which point Magano fired, Nel submitted Pule’s allegation was untrue.
“Why did you tell the departmental inquiry that you had never seen accused two fire a shot?” Nel asked.
Nel has contended that Pule's evidence in a disciplinary inquiry into the Tatane matter differed from his testimony to the court.
Pule said the departmental investigation and the criminal case were two different matters.
“I agree, but why would your testimony differ?” asked Nel.
Pule replied: “It differs because it is two different courts.”
Nel told magistrate Hein van Niekerk that Pule's testimony of seeing Magano fire a shot was a “flight of his imagination”.
Ending his cross-examination, Nel led Pule through a photo album where he had to identify himself in a group of policemen gathered around the injured Tatane.
This was the same photo album from which Pule earlier identified some of the accused.
Argument was led that Pule had a shotgun and pepper spray in hand while being near Tatane.
Nel told Van Niekerk that Pule’s statements that the seven accused had wilfully and without reason attacked Tatane was untrue.
“He merely has an issue with the police who ended his service.”
Earlier, he submitted that the SA Police Service had no evidence that Pule appealed against his dismissal from the police in February 2012.
The police's Pretoria office had no indication of any appeal notice, Nel said.
“I put it to you, according to all information today, no official notice was received from you or your union, and nothing was received on your dismissal from police.”
Pule told Nel he had no knowledge of what he was saying.
The constable then produced a document, which he claimed indicated that an appeal had been lodged.
“I have a notice for an appeal, I do not know what you're talking about,” Pule said through an interpreter.
Later in evidence he again indicated that he would be reporting for police duty soon.
Van Niekerk postponed the matter to December 10. - Sapa