A Port Elizabeth man accused of murdering an off duty policeman vehemently denied any involvement in the alleged crime and claimed that he was merely taking his friend’s vehicle for a car wash at the time of the shooting.
Charles Nqaba, 27, was testifying in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday. Nqaba and Jabulani Mkaba, 26, are on trial for the murder of Constable Devin Hattingh.
Hattingh was allegedly gunned down while escorting a truck to Motherwell during July 2014. At the time, he was off duty and doing extra work to supplement his income.
The father of three, and his wife Blanche, were both stationed at Mount Road Police Station. On the day of his killing, the couple had worked their last shift together.
Blanche still drives the same silver VW polo that her husband was allegedly gunned down in while sitting in the driver’s seat.
Nqaba claimed that when police arrested him no charges were mentioned.
His version to the court was that he had taken Mkaba’s Ford Fiesta for a car wash when he saw a police vehicle speed past.
“Three police officer a lighted from the vehicle with guns. One had a rifle and the other two had smaller guns. They were pointing the guns in my direction. I looked around to see if they were pointing the firearm at me or someone else,” he said.
“They shouted loud that I must move away, I was told to lift my hands and I was told that I must go to the scene and they placed me in the van and I was not allowed to get out,” Nqaba claimed.
Nqaba conceded that the fingerprints found on the passenger side of the white Ford Fiesta belonged to him but said the prints got there when he had driven to a friends house.
He denied the State’s allegations placing Nqaba at the scene of the alleged crime, he denied any possession of a firearm and claimed that he never shot anyone resembling a security guard or at any of the police officers.
Nqaba also denied the contents of his confession and claimed that the investigating officer and his team “told him what to say”.
According to papers before court, Hattingh was observing the truck a short distance away when he was approached by men who started firing shots. He sustained gunshot wounds to his body and died at the scene.
During the shooting, two police officers were patrolling the area. According to the State, Sergeant Sisanda Qokosa and Constable Vuyani Libi saw the shooting and stopped their car. When the accused noticed the police officers they opened fire on them and fled the scene.
One of the men ran away on foot while the other drove off in a white Ford Fiesta.
Police later tracked down Nqaba and the Ford Fiesta was recovered a short distance from where the shooting incident took place. Mkaba was arrested at a later stage.
Both men are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The trial continues.
– African News Agency