Suspect in shock claim against cops  

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courtTefo Tefo

A man suspected of murdering two Chinese businessmen three years ago has accused the police of pursuing him because he refused to pay them a M4000 bribe.

Malefane Mokoena (44) on Tuesday told the High Court he never committed the crimes but refused to pay the bribe hence his prosecution.

Mokoena is charged with the killing of Aifu Yu and Tang Jan Fu in Ha-Ramatšeliso, Qacha’s Nek on 12 July 2012.

However, his lawyer, Advocate ‘Mampai Lesupi, told the court his client was only before the court because he refused to bribe the police, while three other men he was arrested with paid M4 000 each to the police, and were let go.

The lawyer put Mokoena’s allegations to Sub-Inspector Kobile who was testifying  in the court on Tuesday.

“The accused informs me to tell you that he stands trial for murder today simply because he refused to give police officers handling the case M4 000, which three men he was arrested with paid.

“Those men were Thabang Koena, Lebohang Moliko and Sibusiso Thapeli,” she said.

In response, Sub-Inspector Kobile dismissed the allegations as untrue.

“I don’t know about any payments made to any police stations. It is not true because there are no payments made at police offices,” Sub-Inspector Kobile said.

Instead, Sub-Inspector Kobile told the court he arrested Mokoena on 27 July 2012 in Qacha’s Nek town after receiving a tip-off from the public .

“I arrested him in town after receiving information about his whereabouts.

“I had earlier received information that he was involved in the brutal killing of two Chinese businessmen in Ha-Ramatšeliso.

“I was told that on the fateful night, he was putting on red shoes. Indeed, I found him in town still wearing the same shoes he had on the night he committed the offence.

“I took those shoes from him as exhibits in court. I also confiscated a black laptop bag from him.

“It was the same bag that used to contain a laptop belonging to the murdered businessmen.

“He also handed over a knife to me, which he voluntarily said he had used to commit the crimes,” he said.

Sub-Inspector Kobile also dismissed Mokoena’s version that he was in South Africa working as a security guard on the night the businessmen were murdered.

“There are people who saw him at the businessmen’s premises on the night they were murdered,” he said.

But Mokoena’s lawyer insisted her client was in South Africa at the time.

“His passport is sufficient testimony that he was not in the country on the day the crime is alleged to have been committed.

“It is also not true that he handed over a laptop bag and a knife to the police officer.

“Those items were found with one of the men with whom he was arrested and detained in police cells,” she said.

The case continues before Justice ‘Maseshophe Hlajoane, while Advocate Thapelo Mokuku prosecutes.

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