Angy Peter trial: Police sergeant dismisses claims by State’s eyewitness

| Barbara Maregele
Angy Peter and Isaac Mbadu leave the Cape High Court earlier today. Photo by Barbara Maregele.

On 12 August, police sergeant Lesley Freeman, who arrested two of the four accused of murdering Rowan du Preez, dismissed several claims made by the State’s eyewitness.

Freeman and detective constable Stanford Muthian were called by the court after the State and defence closed their cases earlier in the week.

This follows the evidence of state witness Desiree Jack, who told the court that she saw Du Preez being beaten up, and went with police into the homes of Azola Dayimani and Christopher Dina during their arrests.

She had also told the court that when she went into Dina’s house with the police, he was very drunk.

Dina and Dayimani along with activist Angy Peter and her husband Isaac Mbadu are on trial for the kidnapping, assault and murder of Rowan du Preez in October 2012.

Freeman said he had been on patrol the night of Dina and Dayimani’s arrest when he got the call over the radio.

“(Detective constable) Muthian told me I had to get a female witness in a kidnapping and attempted murder case about 11:30pm on 14 October (2012). When I got there, Desiree Jack handed me a point-out notice where she gave us the two suspect’s first names and would show us where they lived,” he said.

Freeman said Jack had specifically requested to remain hidden because she didn’t want to be seen by the accused.

“When we went to their houses, she stayed in my bakkie with my female partner. I parked the van so the suspects couldn’t see her. I made sure I brought both the suspects into the doorway where she could see them. She nodded to me to indicate that it was the right person and I arrested them. I explained their rights and took them to the Mfuleni holding cells,” he said.

When asked if Jack had been alone during the pointing out, Freeman said: “When I first fetched Desiree, she was with her father (John Ndevu) and another man. I told them they couldn’t come with us and I think they stayed in the group of community members who were standing in the road about 30 metres away.”

Defence attorney William King asked Freeman several times if Jack had been present in homes of the accused as she had testified. Jack had given the court the impression that she never knew the names of the accused at that stage.

“She gave me their first names and their addresses, that’s why I asked for their IDs before I arrested them to make sure it was the same person. She wasn’t in the homes with me, I was alone,” he said.

King asked Freeman, “If you couldn’t remember to write something that important (that Jack remained in the car and only indicated with a nod) down two years ago when the arrests were still fresh in your memory, how do you know it so clearly now?”

Freeman responded: “I admit I didn’t write it in, but I was busy with other cases that night as well.”

Earlier, Muthian was excused from continuing with his testimony after he was booked off sick with a sore throat.

The matter was remanded until Thursday, 14 August, when Muthian is expected to take the stand.

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