Cape Town - The alleged cop shooter insists he was at a get-together on the day the four Nyanga police officers were attacked after a robbery at Philippi Junxion shopping centre.
The shooting happened on June 12, last year.
The officers were patrolling when they drove into the shopping centre, and when the robbers spotted the police van, they opened fire and shot one officer in the eye, another in the forehead and the third in the neck, the only male officer was not hit and managed to rush to the hospital.
Seven months later on January 11, Bantu Hamile was arrested and faces four murder charges and one of robbery with aggravated circumstances.
The accused applied for bail yesterday and took the stand and said he plans to plead not guilty.
The court heard that the accused has no warrants, no pending cases, he has a conviction for driving under the influence and paid a fine of R6000.
The father-of-four said it was possible for the police to lift his fingerprints at the scene as there was an incident three days prior to the robbery at the Pick n Pay branch.
“There was an incident with the security and they referred me to the manager. We walked together to the office. The manager’s name was Amanda.
“The complaint was about being searched while exiting the shop. I allowed the security officer to search me but asked them why I was the only one to be searched and referred to the manager’s office so they could explain.
“I was told by the manager the cameras were controlled by a third party who contacted the security guard who searched me.
“The manager then took my number. The following day called me and explained further. I went to the shop with my girlfriend Andiswa and they explained again and then we left. That is how my fingerprints were lifted. The police either got the print from the chair, the table or the door.
“Those are the only places they would have lifted them. On the day of the robbery, I was with my friends, at a get-together in Acacia Park, Philippi East, which we planned two months prior. I was there from 10am drinking.”
His girlfriend Andiswa Mache also took the witness stand and repeated what the accused said.
Investigating officer Detective Adrian Pretorius said through the affidavit the accused was positively identified by witnesses in an identity parade, and also by his right ring fingerprint.
“The manager said no one is allowed in the manager’s office and no one could remember seeing him in there. I believe the court should not grant bail because he is facing serious charges, there is overwhelming evidence and the community needs to be protected outside there.”