“Paul called me and said I should drive to [the] Money Point offices as the boy had already been found,” State witness Peter Vusi Msimango said during questioning by prosecutor Louis Mashiane.
When he arrived at the offices in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, he found Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officer Samuel Modise Maropeng, Siboniso Miya, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and two more men.
The five men, and George Jeff Nthoroane, are on trial, charged with attempted murder and kidnapping. Krejcir and Luphondo also face drug-dealing charges.
Msimango said the victim’s hands were bound, he had a bag over his head and was facing the wall. The victim was the brother of another man known only as Doctor, who worked at a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport. Doctor disappeared with 25kg of tik that he was tasked to help transport to Australia.
“They all took part in asking him where his brother Doctor was… he told them he did not know and last saw him two days earlier.”
The men assaulted the victim. Krejcir ordered that the bag be removed from his head, Msimango said.
Msimango told the court Krejcir said to the man: “Look at me… do you know who I am? Why are you lying about your brother? You want to die like a soldier? Well, that’s fine then.”
Krejcir poured boiling water from a kettle onto his head.
“The boy gave out an excruciating scream… stopped and then started shaking,” Msimango said.
The victim asked to call Doctor. Krejcir instructed his men to drive the victim to a place far from the office so he could make the phone call.
Msimango accompanied them to a place near Alexandra where a cellphone was assembled and the victim called his brother.
The victim pleaded with his brother, Msimango said.
“He said ‘Doctor, my life is in your hands. Return whatever you owe these people. If I die, this is all in your hands’,” Msimango said.
Luphondo took the phone and told Doctor to make it easy for everyone and return the consignment.
“Doctor told Luphondo what they did was a provocation and that they would be arrested for kidnapping.”
Doctor promised Luphondo he would bring the drugs the following day accompanied by his father, Msimango said.
Maropeng, who Msimango called “Saddam”, had arrived at the Eastgate mall hours earlier after being summoned by Krejcir to kidnap the victim.
Msimango said Maropeng was a police officer in Natalspruit and he had known him for over 10 years.
The trial continues.