The arrest of three men in connection with Mondli Majola’s death in Phoenix during the July riot smells like pressure from the National Police Minister.
That was the claim made by defense attorney, Carl van der Merwe, for the siblings Dylan and Ned Govender, who, along with a third man, Jeetendra Jaikissoon, are charged with murder in connection with the death of 19-year-old Mondli Majola from Amaoti. Dylan faces further charges of attempted murder.
On Wednesday, Van der Merwe interrogated Sgt Siphosenkosi Shezi, a member of the Phoenix Unrest Task Team, on video evidence related to Majola’s death.
Shezi previously said Verulam judge Irfan Khalil said police had secured video evidence that placed the defendant on the scene and provided a series of events leading up to Majola’s death. He alleged that a mob of men, including the defendant, attacked Majola and others who had fled.
However, Van der Merwe argued that after the riot, 36 people were killed and those Seeing the phoenix had turned the suburb into a war zone, the pressure from Police Minister Bheki Cele seemed to grow to have the police arrest suspects. This, he said, led to a biased police investigation.
He also questioned Shezi’s observation when he guessed in previous evidence that there were “six or seven” inmates, including the defendant who was im Bakkie arrived on the day in question.
However, it turned out that, according to video footage played in court, there were only three people in the vehicle.
“They are trying to get information embroidered to create the impression that there was a crowd, ”he told Shezi before adding that the policeman’s powers of observation cannot be trusted.
Shezi disagreed with the attorney’s testimony regarding the number did not, but said the violence was “out of control”.
The bail request continues on Friday.