A Mitchells Plain policewoman has admitted in the Swellendam Circuit court that murder and rape accused Johannes Kana was not read his full rights during an interview earlier this year.
Kana is on trial for the rape and mutilation of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen on February 2. The trial-within-a-trial began yesterday after Pieter du Toit, for Kana, said his client’s rights may have been infringed, which meant certain evidence should not be permitted in court.
On Friday Lieutenant-Colonel Hermien Titlestad-Van Zyl, from the Mitchells Plain police, told the court that she had been contacted by Bredasdorp police to assist.
She arrived at the Bredasdorp police station on February 22, to speak to Kana about the pointing out of the scene.
Although she said she explained why she was there, and that he could have an attorney present, she “didn’t use the words that if he points anything out, it could be used against him in court”.
The meeting had been recorded.
When State prosecutor Maria Marshall questioned why Titlestad-Van Zyl didn’t read Kana his rights word for word, she responded that she had explained everything.
“I explained everything surrounding it, it was informal. We chatted and I wrote everything down.”
She added that Kana had said he understood everything, and did not indicate that he was unhappy in any way.
But she had “not read out Kana’s rights verbatim”.
Judge Patricia Goliath questioned how
Titlestad-Van Zyl would say in court whether Kana had fully understood her.
“It doesn’t mean that a person from the street would understand when you say that it (the interview) is like a court,” she said.
Lieutenant Paul Moss, an officer at the psychologically motivated crimes section at the Bredasdorp police station, said he told Kana on February 9 that everything he told him could be used against him.
“I was called to get involved with the case. The first time I was in contact with Kana, he was already in custody.
“I informed Kana of his rights, that he had the right to an attorney, and that everything he said could be used against him in a court of law. Kana told me that he wanted to talk.”
Moss said that Kana had spoken about his childhood days, and how he loved playing rugby.
“He said his grandfather was like a father to him, that he was angry at his mom, and he that didn’t have a relationship with his dad. There were two other investigators in the room with us when he asked to speak to me alone. I once again reminded him of his rights,” he told the court.
Moss added that he had asked Kana during the interview whether he would tell another police officer the story, and point out the scene. He had agreed.
“On February 21, I received a letter from Kana in prison. He said he was prepared to go ahead with the pointing out.”
Du Toit, for Kana, countered, however, that the suggestions for the pointing out had come from Moss, and not from Kana.
Judge Goliath also questioned why the pointing out of evidence was done only on February 22, if Kana had agreed to it during an interview on February 9.
The trial-within-a-trial will continue on Monday. - Saturday Argus