Friday, March 30, 2012

#DEWANI MURDER - #BREAKING NEWS: Gunman's claims of torture dismissed...

Although the attorneys for Qwabe and his co-accused, Xolile Mngeni, said that both men alleged they had been tortured and assaulted, the spokesperson for the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), Moses Dlamini, said only Qwabe had laid a complaint.

Qwabe's lawyer, Thabo Nogemane, told the M&G 13 months ago that his client alleged he had been tortured when he was arrested, despite his co-operation with the police.

This week, Nogemane said he was aware that the office of the director of public prosecutions in the Western Cape had declined to investigate the torture allegations of his client.

Qwabe's mother, Nowi, a domestic worker who lives in New Crossroads, asked him to take on her son's case a week after his arrest and Qwabe then complained that he had been assaulted and tortured.

"Unfortunately, there were no visible injuries, only handcuff marks," he said. "My client was in custody and had not been able to get to a doctor, but he was complaining of pain when I first met him a week after his arrest. I took it upon myself to lay a claim on his behalf with the ICD."

Nogemane said Qwabe was interviewed by members of the ICD in Pollsmoor Prison, where he is being held. The directorate said it could find no corroboration of his torture accusations. "We investigated Qwabe's case, but found no evidence to back his claims," said Dlamini.

ICD cracks down on police torture

The ICD confirmed last week that it had recommended prosecution in 34 cases of alleged police torture and assault in the Western Cape. In the case of the horrific death of 24-year-old New Crossroads resident Sidwell Mkwambi three years ago, the National Prosecuting Authority has decided to prosecute 12 members of the elite Hawks unit, although the directorate recommended that 14 members be charged.

The news that Qwabe's torture claim has fallen away will be welcomed by the state prosecution team, because it will now avoid a "trial within a trial" that would have tested the admissibility of the confessions obtained by the police. The law dictates that any evidence obtained in an irregular manner is inadmissible in more