Moffat David Chiloane, from Chweni, outside White River, is on trial on charges of murder, robbery, and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, a Sapa correspondent reported.
Chiloane and his co-accused, Mbuso Een Mabilisa, from Matsulu outside Mbombela, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Charges against a third suspect, Sam Thabethe, were provisionally withdrawn.
The two are accused of shooting and killing Constable Eugene Nyirenda, 34, at the Emasakeni tavern in Low’s Creek on November 14, 2009. They allegedly stole Nyirenda’s service pistol.
Nyirenda, of the Low’s Creek SAPS, was investigating cases of illegal mining against associates of the two accused.
During a trial-within-a-trial on Wednesday, Simpson Mulaudzi, for Chiloane, told the court his client would testify that police officers constables Skhumbuzo Thabethe and Sanderson, and warrant officers Percy Sibanyoni and Nkosi, assaulted him at the White River police station and at the Organised Crime Unit’s offices in Mbombela.
Mulaudzi said it was his instruction that the accused bought the pistol from Sam Thabethe three months after the murder.
“It was sold for R1600 and he only paid R800,” Mulaudzi said.
Constable Thabethe testified that, acting on a tip-off that Chiloane was in a car driving towards White River on February 15, 2010, they arrested him around 4.30pm.
“When questioned, he responded that he did not have a licence for the gun and said he found it where they killed a police officer in Low’s Creek around Emasakeni Tavern,” Thabethe said.
Constable Thabethe testified that Chiloane was never assaulted in his presence.
Chiloane and Mabilisa were remanded in custody.