SOME cops based at Sauerstown Police Station in Bulawayo on Wednesday testified in a murder case involving two of their colleagues, whom they defended saying suspects implicated the police in the matter just to fix them.
Sergeant Proud Moyo (28) represented by lawyer Nozabelo Ndlovu and Constable Mavis Mutema (26) who was represented by Jonathan Tsvangirai, appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva for the alleged murder of Samson Ncube (20).
Ncube had been arrested together with four other suspects allegedly in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle with stones on March 5 2011.
It was alleged that Ncube died as a result of severe torture he suffered at the hands of Sauerstown police to forcibly extract a confession from him.
A medical report produced in court indicated that Ncube was electrocuted in the eyes and testicles.
Moyo’s lawyer called Constable Linda Mukavhi to testify and she told the court that on March 6 2011 she was on stand-by and worked in the same office with Moyo and a Constable Musarurwa.
The lawyer asked her if she had observed any injuries on Ncube when Moyo was dealing with him. Mukavhi said she saw them being questioned by Moyo and did not see them being assaulted.
Mukavhi said the police did not use fan belts in the course of their duties and baton sticks were in the storeroom on the day in question. Prosecutor Thompson Hove asked Mukavhi what she would say if he put it to her that Ncube was assaulted and she responded by saying it would be a lie as no one was assaulted during investigations.
“I only left the office for a few minutes going to the toilet, but I spent the whole day in the office,” Mukavhi said.
Justice Takuva asked her why she thought they would lie about the assault and she said maybe they wanted to “fix the police officers because they had been arrested and kept at the police station for long”.
The defence then called Constable Felix Sangu who corroborated Mukavhi’s evidence saying he conducted a cell inspection of the suspects and took Ncube to the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court the following day on March 7 2011.
He said the suspects did not raise any complaints against the police even after they asked them to state them in a complaints book.
Ndlovu then said: “I have a medical report here which states that the deceased was electrocuted in his eyes and private parts; did you see that on him?”
Sangu said he did not observe any injuries and Ncube did not complain to him or the court.
Sangu said they had used public transport to go to court and Ncube was barefooted and wearing shorts and a vest.
Justice Takuva asked him why he took a suspect who was not properly dressed to court and Sangu said if his relatives did not bring clothes there was nothing he could do since he had to appear in court.
Allegations against Moyo and Matema were that on March 5, 2011, they were assigned to investigate malicious damage to property case and arrested Ncube and his alleged accomplices.
They allegedly took turns to assault Ncube until he confessed. On March 10, Ncube was found dead in his father’s garden.
He had complained of pain after being released from police custody and alleged that cops took turns to assault him with a fan belt and a baton stick.