Pretoria - A senior police forensic analyst has detailed to the High Court in Pretoria the techniques used in analysing close-circuit television (CCTV) footage to map out the movements of four men accused of the murder of North West businessman, Wandile Bozwana and his business partner and lover Mpho Baloyi.
Captain Ludumo Gqotso, who took the witness stand on Wednesday for the prosecution, told the court that on 23 November 2015 he received a sealed exhibit bag with four storage devices, two USBs and two DVD discs, each sealed in a separate exhibit bag, from the investigating officer.
He then set out to analyse the footage in the storage devices by capturing images and using image enhancement techniques to enlarge and brighten the images for a clearer view.
“My role was to capture images, enhance those that were not clear and compile a picture album,” he said.
Gqotso, who has more than 12 years experience as a forensic analyst, said he then used arrows on the images to mark the suspects as well as Bozwana and Baloyi.
Asked in his evidence-in-chief how he was able to identify the suspects and their alleged victims, he said this was done with the help of the investigating officer who pointed out these individuals to him on a computer screen.
He then viewed the footage, following the movements of the suspects and that of their alleged victims.
Gqotso said he was, however, unable to zoom in and out of the footage as this was not possible on that kind of footage.
After his analysis, he compiled a report which contained a picture album and handed this over to the administration department at the forensic science laboratory for safekeeping and collection.
Gqotso said he used a working copy for his analysis to avoid tempering with the original copies.
Sipho Patrick Hudla, Matamela Robert Mutapa, Vusi Reginald Mathibela, and Bonginkosi Paul Khumalo have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
State advocate Jennifer Cronje has told the court that the state intends using the footage to prove that Bozwana’s murder was premeditated and that the accused acted on common purpose.
The footage was obtained from Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton where the couple had beauty therapy treatments and lunch at a McDonald’s restaurant before they headed to Pretoria where they were ambushed.
With Baloyi behind the wheel, the two had stopped at the Garsfontein off-ramp of the N1 in Pretoria when a BMW M3 stopped and a man jumped out, opening fire at the duo’s Renault Clio in October 2015. Bozwana was hit nine times while two bullets struck Baloyi.
The state was expected to call its next witness when the court session resumes after lunch on Wednesday.
Judge Papi Mosopa is hearing evidence in a trial-within-a-trial for him to determine the admissibility of the footage as evidence.
African News Agency/ANA