Court Hears Murder-Accused Was Tortured
Two men who confessed to being involved in the murder of ANC North West official Obuti Chika were tortured by the police, the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court heard on Tuesday.
Some of the men accused of killing NWest councillor Obuti Chikwa
Moses Jones Botman, for Jeffrey Letuka, said his client was tortured and forced to confess.
"Because there were no visible injuries, it does not mean he was never tortured," Botman submitted.
The State told the court on Monday that Letuka and co-accused Sihlangu Sekhakhane had confessed to being involved in the crime.
However, in his own affidavit, Sekhakhane also denied committing the crime, and also claimed police officers had assaulted him and that he was made to sign a confession under duress.
They are accused with North West provincial African National Congress Youth League chairman Papiki Baboile, ward secretary Paul Molomonyane, councillor Itumeleng Molebatsi, municipal worker William Malefo, taxi driver Kgotso Kali, and local government MEC China Dodovu.
According to an affidavit by the police, Letuka claimed after his arrest that Kali approached him and a friend and asked them to kill Chika.
Kali allegedly handed Letuka and his friend two explosive devices and promised them R50,000 for killing Chika.
Baboile and Molefo were with Kali during the meeting with Letuka and his friend. They returned later, said they could not raise the money and took back the explosives.
In a sworn statement by Kali, he denied attending any meeting or promising any money to Letuka or Sekhakhane.
Prosecutor Riekie Krause said on Monday that Sekhakhane had confessed to killing Chika and had led police to his gun. Forensics had later matched the bullets which killed Chika to this gun.
She told the court Sekhakhane had claimed to have met Kali in a BMW X5 shortly before the crime. Krause said Baboile owned a BMW X5.
Kali had allegedly told him that, before he could attend the ANC's conference in Mangaung in December, Chika had to be killed.
Chika, 33, was shot at point-blank range in the driveway of his Klerksdorp home on December 14. He died in a local hospital.