South Africa 16.3.2015 02:59 pm

Video provisionally accepted in Tibbetts trial

Lindray Khakhu, accused of killing three-year-old Luke Tibbetts, appears in the Johannesburg High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday, 5 March 2015. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Lindray Khakhu, accused of killing three-year-old Luke Tibbetts, appears in the Johannesburg High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge on Thursday, 5 March 2015. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

A video of a media interview with the sister of murder-accused Lindray Khakhu was provisionally accepted into evidence in the High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Monday.

Lindsey Campbell, Khakhu’s sister, testified that she had not been at the scene of the shooting, which claimed three-year-old Luke Tibbett’s life. Rather, when media asked her to speak about what had happened, Campbell had related the account of Zhane van der Westhuizen, who saw the shooting.

“As she explained to me what happened, that’s what I translated,” she said.

Campbell agreed with Prosecutor Deon van Wyk that the purpose of her statement to the media was to defend her brother. Van Wyk then made an application for the video to be admissible as evidence, event though it constituted hearsay as Van der Westhuisen denied telling Campbell what had happened at the shooting.

Campbell’s brother, Khakhu is on trial for two murders, including that of Tibbett, five counts of attempted murder, 10 of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and one of pointing a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty to all 18 charges.

In the application relating to the video exhibit, Van Wyk argued that there were elements of this piece of evidence that both exonerated and incriminated Khakhu, meaning it was not prejudicial to his defence.

“The statement is 100 percent relevant to the facts in dispute, (as it) places the accused at the crime scene on the said day.”

It also corroborated other witnesses’ evidence of a single shooter, he said.

“The interest of justice demands… all that is relevant be included.

“Issues of credibility and probability will be argued. It cannot be said not to be in the interest of justice.”

Sog van Eck, for Khakhu, said he was unhappy with the timing of the application, saying it should have been left to later in the trial. He acquiesced to the video being provisionally accepted as evidence, which the court allowed. Tibbett was shot in August last year while sitting on his mother’s lap in a car, when Khakhu allegedly shot at another car whose occupant, Keenan Mokwena, he was allegedly aiming at.

He was placed on life support, but died in hospital six days later.

The other murder Khakhu stands accused of is that of Alton Mooi, who was shot dead on the night of June 17, 2013.

The matter resumes at 10am on Tuesday.

 

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