Statements made by one of the men accused of the murder of Sabata Petros Chale in Marikana were admitted as evidence at the North West High Court sitting in Mogwase today.
Judge Ronnie Hendricks ruled that statements taken by Captain Johannes Steyn and Captain Lizo Yabo in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape be admissible as evidence.
This was after Sibonile Sobopha alleged that his rights were not read to him when he was arrested on December 29, in the Eastern Cape. He alleges that he was assaulted and police only took a statement from him in Klerksdorp.
The defence argued that he was beaten into admitting that he was part of a group that killed Chale in Marikana West in December 2016.
“There are only two options when a police officer assaults a suspect. One is power, in this case it does not apply, the second one is to force a person to do something or to admit to something…” Eric Marx, for Sobopha, told the court.
He wanted the court to reject the admission statement.
In his admission statement, Sobopha said he saw a group of people assaulting a man in Marikana West. He joined the group and slapped the deceased with an open hand and had wanted to stab him with a spear, but three men from the group stopped him, stating that they had “already done the job”.
Sobopha said four police officers arrested him and that he was asked about a person who died. According to him, when he said he knows nothing, a red cloth with raincoat material was put over his head, and an unknown electric object was put on his genitals which electrocuted him.
Sobopha is one of the 14 men accused of the murder of Chale.
The State alleges Aubrey Seitsang, Sobopha, Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Herbert Baqhesi, Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster, William Nyenyane, Aphindile Pungone, Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Luvo Soyizwaphi, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana hacked Chale, 39, to death in Marikana West, on December 8, 2016, allegedly over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses at Marikana West Extension 2.
The men have pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, with four of them claiming they were not at the crime scene while the other nine admitted they were at a community meeting that was held in Marikana, but disputed other allegations against them.
The trial continues.