MOGWASE - Former North West deputy police commissioner Major-General William Mpembe was told that a mineworker died in a police truck, the North West High Court heard on Monday.
"My truck was the last to arrive at the detention centre. When I was reversing I heard a knock from the back of the truck and people shouting in isiXhosa that a person was dying," Constable Dimakatso Mafate told the court.
"I parked the truck and opened the door. I saw a man lying down dressed in a chequered jacket. I then closed the door and went to inform General Mpembe that a person was dying in the truck. He took my details including my force number saying he was going to make a report."
Mafate was testifying in the trial involving Mpembe, Gideon van Zyl, Dingaan Madoda and Oupa Pule. The State alleges they failed to disclosed that mineworker Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala died in police custody. The four are facing charges of contravening the Commission Act, contravening IPID Act and defeating the ends of justice.
The State charged that they concealed the circumstance of the death of Sagalala after the police opened fire on striking Lonmin mineworkers, killing 34 of them, in what is known as the Marikana massacre.