Johannesburg - Several discrepancies in a statement submitted by the first State witness testifying in the trial of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and five others were pointed out in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Tuesday.
Boksburg businessman Paul Vusi Msimango denied that a police officer named Freddy Ramaule had helped him write his statement.
Ramaule was earlier asked to stand before the court.
Msimango later told the court this was not the officer who had assisted him with his statement at the Bramley police station in November last year.
“The person who administered me was a fat police officer with a big tummy. He was Xhosa-speaking,” Msimango told the court through an interpreter. However, Ramaule's signature was on the statement.
“The officer just asked me whether I was telling the truth,” said Msimango.
He had earlier told the court that he left the police station at 4pm after giving his statement.
“I was rushing to the creche,” Msimango said.
The police officer who signed the statement, however, said the statement was signed at 5pm.
Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jess Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya face charges of dealing in drugs, attempted murder, and kidnapping. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Msimango told the court that he and another man named Paul had been questioned at the Bramley police station about the kidnapping and assault of Bheki Lukhele.
Lukhele was kidnapped and assaulted in a bid to make him reveal the whereabouts of his brother Doctor.
Msimango had been recruited to help find Doctor, who worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport.
Doctor apparently disappeared with 25kg of tik that he was tasked to help transport to Australia in June last year.
The court was told that Lukhele was bound, assaulted, and had boiling water poured over his head by Krejcir.
He said at one point, Krejcir ordered that the hat used to cover Lukhele's face be removed.
“He said 'Look at me! You claim to not know where your brother is but you were with him during the day. Perhaps you are preparing to die like a soldier',” Msimango testified.
Earlier, he told the court that after assaulting Lukhele, Krejcir suggested they murder him so Doctor could be picked up when he attended the funeral.
Krejcir later aborted that plan.
“He said he doesn't want to have a reputation of a drug dealer,” Msimango said.
They dropped Lukhele off near a stadium in Katlehong.
The trial continues.