Accused hitman’s alibi questioned
An alleged hitman accused of killing a policewoman has vehemently denied any knowledge of two cellphone numbers linked to him by a state witness.
Luyanda Nyumka, 38, also brought up a girlfriend – as an alibi – during testimony in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday, a claim state prosecutor Marius Stander said was a fabrication.
Nyumka said he had been with his girlfriend in Bhisho from November 7 2015 to mid-January 2016 – which would have put him far from the scene of the murder of policewoman Nomathamsanqa Ivy Mtwesi, 36, who was shot and killed on December 12 2015.
“Your evidence that you were with a girlfriend in [Bhisho], you sucked that out of your thumb, fabricated over the weekend because up to now we never heard about a girlfriend in [Bhisho],” Stander said.
Nyumka retorted that if the state were to pull the transcripts from his 2016 bail application there would be reference to the girlfriend-found there.
However, Nyumka later conceded that his legal representative, advocate Eric Skepe, was unable to find the transcripts he was referring to.
Nyumka was arrested on February 27 2016 and charged with the murder of Mtwesi, who had worked at the Zwide police station.
Nyumka, along with Mtwesi’s estranged husband, Mlungisi Tsitsi, 37, Sicelo Mbanga, 31, Thembani Rorwana, 34, Ndiphe Soqokomashe, 48 and Msindisi Bhebhula, 27, have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
All six men pleaded not guilty and some have denied knowing each other.
A slew of phone records have been used by the state to try to prove a link between the six.
On Monday, Stander highlighted state witness Colin Delport’s testimony in which he claimed to have had contact with Nyumka via online chat site 2Go on at least 10 occasions.
Delport had also claimed he had met Nyumka at the Kenako Mall during the time Nyumka said he was in Bhisho.
Stander told the court that the two numbers Delport had confirmed he used to contact Nyumka were also used by Nyumka to contact his co-accused in the days leading up to and on the day of the murder.
Nyumka denied knowing Delport and refused to acknowledge that he knew any of his co-accused, even after it was pointed out that, in an affidavit penned by Rorwana in August 2015 Rorwana said that he knew Nyumka.