A senior justice of the peace officer who took the confession statement of Bongani Ntanzi in relation with the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, says he told police officers to take the accused to court.
Lieutenant Colonel Mohale Raphadu took Ntanzi's confession statement at about 11am on June 19, while Ntanzi had been in custody since June 16.
By law, accused persons have to appear before a court of law within 48 hours of their arrest.
Raphadu testified in the Gauteng North High Court that he told a Jonathan of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police (EMPD) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, who were part of police officers transporting the accused.
“I instructed them to take him to the magistrate on the same day. I told Jonathan from the EMPD because I figured it was (close to) 48 hours. He was appearing in other cases, apparently,” he said.
The court is currently in a trial-within-a-trial to determine if confessions made by Ntanzi and Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya were taken freely and voluntarily.
The court also heard on Friday that Ntanzi was in custody and charged in relation with a 2018 murder case in Nongoma.
Occurrence Book records from the Pretoria North police station showed he was booked out by a Sergeant Mogane on June 17 at 4.55pm and he was returned at 7.55pm.
Defence attorneys have told the court that Ntanzi was assaulted, tortured and tubed to make a confession.
Defence advocate Zandile Mshololo said: “This means he was not taken to court, but he was booked out for three hours.”
On the following day, June 18, Ntanzi was booked out at 8.15am, again by Mogane. He only returned at 2.30am on June 19.
Said Mshololo: “This is the day before you (Raphadu) took the statement. It means he was booked out in the morning, he was gone the whole day and night and he came back at 2.30am. In other words, this person did not sleep, because at 4.50am he is booked out to be taken to the Vosloorus court,” said Mshololo.
Raphadu also said it was his understanding that Ntanzi was a detained person and not an accused when he took his confession statement.
“It seems the accused was entangled in more than one case,” he said, reiterating that he felt he was dealing with a detained person.
Under examination by Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng, Raphadu told the court that he was not aware of any cases of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, attempted murder or any Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) complaint against him arising from his conduct regarding Ntanzi.
Ntanzi has claimed he was assaulted, tortured and tubed in various locations, including Orlando and Alberton, and in one of the occasions, he said Raphadu was present. Raphadu told the court he has not faced any disciplinary action internally, either.
Said Judge Mokgoatlheng: “When did you say the confession statement was taken, on the 19th. When did he appear in court?”
“I instructed them to take him to the magistrate on the same day,” said Raphadu.
The trial-within-a-trial continues with evidence. State advocate George Baloyi has told the court three EMPD SWAT unit members, along with Brigadier Bongani Gininda and two other SAPS officers, will testify.