Accused ‘misled court’
One of the four men accused of the murder of a 78-year-old Kabega Park woman gave a fabricated version of his arrest and lied about his understanding of the English language, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Jason Thysse tore into the testimony of Fikile Mengo, 20, when he gave evidence in a trial-within-a-trial, the fourth since the murder case started last month.
While Mengo claimed that he was not read his rights before being arrested or making a confession to the police, the state was adamant that Mengo was lying, and that he altered his evidence under cross examination.
“Your version has changed again, compared to what was previously said,” Thysse said.
Mengo presented himself to police on August 28 2015, eight days after Denise Webber was tied up and strangled in her garden cottage in Needham Road, Kabega Park.
Mengo, Sinethemba Nenembe, 28, Mkhuseli Ngqanda, 29, and Thanduxolo Vumazonke, 23, were arrested and charged with the murder, as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The have all pleaded not guilty.
Ngqanda and Vumazonke also made confessions, but later contested them in court, claiming they were forced to confess.
However, judge Irma Schoeman ruled that the statements were admissible.
Mengo has since done the same, claiming he was assaulted and given a filled-in form to sign, then forced to implicate Vumazonke and Nenembe in the murder and robbery.
Mengo told the court on Tuesday he knew only a little English and did not fully understand his rights when they were read to him.
Thysse hit back, telling Mengo it was not possible that he did not understand the language after completing Grade 11 and then enrolling for a distance learning course through Intec College.
The case continues.