Former North West deputy police commissioner major-general William Mpembe, the provincial head of detectives Brigadier Gideon van Zyl, Colonel Dingaan Madoda and Captain Oupa Pule are on trial at the North West High Court, sitting in Mogwase. Picture: ANA

Mogwase - A mineworker gave the police the name of a fellow worker who died in a police truck in Marikana after shootings on August 16 2012, the North West High Court heard on Monday.

"A man arrested with others told me the name of the deceased but refused to give me his own names," the former Atteridgeville station commander, Brigadier Samuel Seboloki, told the court.

He was testifying in the trial of former North West deputy commissioner Major-general William Mpembe, Brigadier Gideon van Zyl, Colonel Dingaan Madoda and Captain Oupa Pule.

The four are facing charges of contravention of the Commissions Act, contravention of the Independent Police Directorate Act and defeating the ends of justice.

They were arrested in March 2018 after an investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) found that mineworker Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala died in police custody and not in hospital or during the so-called Marikana massacre, where the police shot dead 34 mineworkers.  

The state has charged that the officers concealed the circumstance of Sagalala's death.

The Lonmin mine premises in Marikana was used as a detention centre to take photographs and finger prints of arrested mineworkers following the massacre.

Seboloki was cross-examined by advocate Jan Ellis, acting for Mpembe and Van Zyl.

Seboloki said he was the commander at the detention centre and called colonel Madoda to supervise detectives at the centre. He said he left the scene where a body was found in a police truck over to Madoda and captain Oupa Pule because they had vast knowledge of crime scene management.

The corpse was in a truck that arrived first at the detention centre. Seboloki said that after he was informed about a man dying inside the truck, he saw a man lying on his left side.

He then made a telephone call from his cellphone to the joint operation centre (JOC) to inform the overall commander of the operation, general Mpembe and provincial head of detectives, brigadier Gideon van Zyl.

He said he did not obtain the particulars of the paramedic who declared Sagalala dead because he was expecting Pule and Madoda to do such. 

"...I was the commander of the detention centre [and] I was working closely with Pule and Madoda I expected them to obtain those particulars," he told the court.

He added that Madoda pointed out the body to warrant officer Thomas Setshedi, who took the photographs of the deceased.

While photographs were being taken, Seboloki was outside the truck, he said. 

The trial continues on Tuesday.

African News Agency (ANA)