‘Middleman’ called out for ‘vague testimony’
The alleged middleman in the murder of a policewoman outside her Zwide home gave such cryptic responses to questions posed to him during cross-examination that the prosecutor said he would argue for the man’s evidence to be disregarded at the end of the trial.
Prosecutor Marius Stander told the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday he was concerned about the memory of Ndiphe Soqokomashe, 48, after the man accused of plotting the murder of Nomathamsanqa Ivy Mtwesi, 36, said on numerous occasions he could not recall crucial aspects related to the alleged crime.
Stander had questioned Soqokomashe about phone calls between him and his co-accused, who include Mtwesi’s estranged husband and alleged mastermind behind her murder, Mlungisi Tsitsi, 37, but Soqokomashe remained evasive.
“You clearly don’t want to answer my question[s],” Stander said.
The state alleges Tsitsi and Soqokomashe had been in contact numerous times leading up to Mtwesi’s November 12 2015 murder, using a Cell C sim card registered in Soqokomashe’s name.
“I am not suggesting [the phone calls] didn’t happen, if [they] did I cannot dispute that,” Soqokomashe said.
Soqokomashe, along with Tsitsi, Thembani Rorwana, 34, Msindisi Bhebhula, 27, Sicelo Mbanga, 31, and Luyanda Nyumka, 37, are accused of plotting the murder of Mtwesi.
They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges, including conspiracy to commit murder and murder.
In September 2015, Tsitsi allegedly became aware of a relationship between Mtwesi, from whom he had been estranged since 2013, and another man.
Tsitsi then allegedly approached Soqokomashe with a view to having his wife killed.
Presenting a plethora of cellphone records on Thursday,
Stander pointed out that three days prior to Mtwesi’s murder, Soqokomashe, Tsitsi and their four co-accused had been in contact with one another using various cellphone numbers.
“You know what is happening between those calls – you were finalising arrangements and payments to have [Mtwesi] killed,” Stander said.
Soqokomashe denied his involvement.
Stander pointed out that on the day Mtwesi was murdered, the Cell C phone was called by Soqokomashe’s MTN number shortly after the murder happened but went to voicemail.
A few hours later he called the number again and this time, according to Stander, Tsitsi answered and was informed that his wife was now dead.
“I bear no knowledge of that,” Soqokomashe said.
The trial continues.