South Africa News

Man accused of killing ANC councillor claims police assaulted him

Murder accused Mxolisi Gcabashe told the Durban High Court on Wednesday that police officers who arrested him on different occasions assaulted and implicated him in crimes for which he is charged.

Gcabashe is on trial for allegedly shooting ANC eThekwini Municipality councillor Minenhle Mkhize in January 2022 in Cliffdale.

Gcabashe, from KwaNyuswa, is facing charges of theft, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of unlawful possession of ammunition, unlawful possession of a semi-automatic firearm and the unlawful possession of firearms.

When his attorney, advocate Louis Barnard, put him on the witness stand, he said: “They found me on the roadside while I was filling water from a tap into containers. They asked my name, and I told them. They said they were looking for firearms which belonged to my late cousin. I told them that I don’t know about his firearms,” said Gcabashe.

He further said the police removed a jacket he was wearing. They wrapped the jacket on his wrists and handcuffed him.

“They told me that they would beat me up until I show them the firearms,” he said.

Gcabashe added that the 10 police officers took him to a bush, made him lie facing upwards, one sat on top of his knees, one kicked him, and the other one put a clear plastic on his face and suffocated him. He said he saw a white police officer parking a white Ford Focus ST. He said the officer got out of the car with a black dog and came up to the bush. He said the officer asked him about the firearms, and he gave him the same answer. “He let the dog bite me and said he will remove it when I say where the firearms are,” he said.

He said another officer got a call that the firearms were found, and that officer came up to the bush with them and ammunition. Gcabashe then told the court the type of guns the police came with and the ammunition.

The state prosecutor, advocate Elvis Gcweka, asked Gcabashe how he saw the officer while he was suffocated and facing upwards. “My body was facing up, but my head was moving,” he said.

“When the cops removed your top, they could see that you were not in possession of a firearm. Instead of going to search for them in your home, which is a walking distance, they decided to take you to the bush?” asked Gcweka.

Gcabase said that was the case, and he did not know how the cops work. Gcweka further reminded him of a police officer who was a witness who said he and the white cop were chasing Gcabashe, and upon the white police officer apprehending him, the witness found car keys of a white Hilux Legend 5, which was stolen in his pocket and in his groin a firearm was found. Gcabashe disputed this.

“This is because you were never assaulted,” Gcweka said.

Gcweka added that the police also found another firearm in the Hilux. Moreover, he was questioned about his salary, which he said was R12 000 a month. However, Gcabashe had told the court that he had bought the stolen Hilux from Sibu Gasa, his cousin, and he made arrangements to pay him a R10 000 installment every month after he had paid a R45 000 deposit for it.

The State questioned him on how he was going to pay the installment of the car when he was building a house, had kids, a fiancée, and earned R12 000 a month. Gcabashe said he had savings.

-Daily News

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