Sunday, 14 June 2009

Accused in rape, murder trial 'was assaulted'

June 12 2009 at 10:32AM

By Karen Breytenbach

One of nine men accused of robberies at two houses in Gordon's Bay in 2006, when an elderly woman was murdered and a pregnant woman was raped, claimed he had been assaulted by the police.

Thembile Ngxowe claimed he was assaulted so badly that he passed out, before he took detectives to his Khayelitsha home where another accused, Vuyile Msaseni, was found lying on the couch.

Jewellery, trainers, wine and a decoder belonging to Johanna Retief van Aarde, 82, who was bludgeoned to death with a hammer while her house was raided, were found on the coffee table.

The assault allegation was made during the Western Cape High Court trial of Luyanda Zaza, Simon Lolo, Mzamu Ncwana, Ngxowe, Siyathemba Tshanyela, Lungile Mayo, Thomas Baraza, Msaseni and Siyabonga Zanzele.

The nine are charged with housebreaking, robbery and murder. Only Zanzele was charged with rape.

The men allegedly broke into two homes in Milnerton Road in Gordon's Bay on the night of May 21, 2006. Nine men broke into Clifford Bacon's home and tied up him, his fiance, his son Calvin and his son's friend Michael Billson. More than 100 items were stolen and loaded on to Bacon's double-cab bakkie, which was found overturned about 2km away.

Four accused were arrested in Gordon's Bay a few hours after the robberies, some with stolen items in their possession.

Ngxowe took the police to his house in Khayelitsha because he had "nothing to hide" and so they could verify his address for bail purposes.

He allegedly also offered to take the police to another suspect's house. When they arrived at the second house, Ncwana, Tshanyela and Baraza pulled up in a car, then tried to flee from the police. Instead they were arrested.

On Thursday investigating officer Captain William Dreyer denied the police assaulted any of the accused.


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