Police did not investigate pawn shop, Krejcir court hears

FILE PICTURE: Money Point near Eastgate shopping mall. Picture: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Cornel van Heerden

Police did not investigate the pawn shop where Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir allegedly tortured his kidnap victim, the Johannesburg High Court sitting in Palm Ridge heard on Tuesday.

Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir, told Judge Colin Lamont she wanted to ask the investigating officer why no investigation was done at the Money Point pawn shop in Bedfordview if this was where the alleged assault took place.

Said she should be allowed to cross-examine the officer, Captain Mashudu Freddy Ramuhala.

Van den Heever and the rest of the defence wanted to question Ramuhala on issues other than what he testified about in a trial-within-a-trial on Monday, relating to an alleged confession made by Krejcir’s co-accused Desai Luphondo.

Prosecutor Louis Mashiane argued the defence could call Ramuhala at a later stage and that cross-examination at that stage was unnecessary.

“From the counsels’ submissions it is very clear that there is fear upon them of the unknown,” he said.

Lamont said he would deliver his judgment on the application on Monday and the trial was postponed until then.

However, arguments are expected to be heard on Thursday and Friday regarding the defence’s subpoenas served in June on police commissioner Riah Phiyega, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan, crime intelligence boss Chris Ngcobo, and Colonel Nkosana Ximba.

Lamont ruled the accused did not need to be present for these arguments.

Krejcir, Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya are on trial for kidnapping, attempted murder and dealing in drugs.

They allegedly recruited a man known as Doctor Nkosi to help smuggle 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) to Australia.

He worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport when he disappeared with the shipment.

Krejcir and his co-accused allegedly kidnapped and tortured his brother, Bheki Lukhele, in a bid to have him reveal his sibling’s whereabouts.

Nkosi has testified in the trial, and confessed to stealing the drugs.

Lukhele testified in May that he was kidnapped and taken to Money Point in June 2013 where Krejcir poured boiling water over his head.

During Krejcir’s bail application in December, he denied claims made in an affidavit by the SA Revenue Service. According to Sars he controlled Money Point even though the business was not registered in his name.

In November, a bomb exploded at Money Point, killing three people.

– Sapa

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