Suspect in botched hijacking of actor Dumi Masilela confessed to his part in crime
Colonel Mhlanganyelwa Moses Mbotho was testifying during the trial, which resumed yesterday.
The case was previously heard in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court for three weeks, where 17 witnesses testified.
Bongani John Masombuka, 34, of Tembisa, Sfundo Harrison Nkosi, 30, Khumbuzo Solomon Mukhuba, 27, Brian Makhubedu, 24, and Mashudu Malema, 31, are facing 11 charges ranging from murder to robbery and kidnapping.
Mbotho said he was called in to take Masombuka’s confession by officers from Pretoria.
He said Masombuka acknowledged understanding his rights and the implications that his confession could be used against him later in court. He added he still wished to make a statement.
“I asked him if he was being coerced into making his statement? He answered no. He also stated that no one had assaulted him to make his confession.”
Mbotho told the court Masombuka explained to him that he was not hurt by anyone, but had sustained bruises to his hands and feet due to cuffs placed on him when he was arrested in Rustenburg on August 8, 2017.
“He expressed his desire to make a statement irrespective of injuries sustained and also said he had no complaints with the manner in which I took down his confession.”
Mbotho added that Masombuka indicated to him he had made a verbal confession to the officers who apprehended him, but they had told him he'd have to repeat his statement to an impartial police officer.
Asked what officers meant when they referred to an independent officer, Mbotho said: “Its an officer who has no interest in the matter and has no prior knowledge of the case.”
However, he did not reveal the contents of the statement allegedly made by Masombuka.
Earlier, Warrant Officer Phafane Ratale testified that he was one of the officers who transported Masombuka to Mbotho’s office in Randburg where he made the confession statement.
The trial continues today.