News / South Africa

Steven Tau
2 minute read
3 May 2017
11:47 am

Confusion over Coligny murder ‘witness’ on eNCA

Steven Tau

Investigating officer Clement Kgorane says he only heard about the televised news interview, saying he never saw it

Coligny Magistrates' Court. Picture: Steven Tau

The person who was on eNCA recently claiming to have witnessed the alleged Coligny murder incident could not be identified as the same witness police say told them he witnessed everything.

Speaking in the Coligny Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, one of the investigating officers, Clement Kgorane, said he only heard about the televised news interview, saying he never saw it. Kgorane said he could not comment on the news channel’s April 27 broadcast.

Regarding the postmortem, Kgorane said on April 24, he was instructed to supervise the investigation. “At the the time, I was told Warrant Officer Seponkane went to Lichtenburg for the postmortem, and when he came back, I interviewed the witness.

“Then with the new version from the witness, we wanted to check if the person jumped off, how was he going to fall and what kind of injuries were going to be sustained,” he said.

Kgorane said they sought second opinion on how the injuries were sustained.

“We had to check the injuries on the body to determine if it’s consistent with the accused’s version.” However, the defence team said a second opinion could not stand, stressing that only a pathologist would determine the cause of death and whether it was consistent with the allegations.

Kgorane said another doctor was brought in but communicated with the pathologist who conducted work on the initial postmortem.

The postmortem was conducted on April 28, the court heard.

The outcome of the postmortem that was conducted on the 16-year-old boy who was allegedly thrown off a moving vehicle in Coligny has not been revealed as yet. Kgorane said he did not know how far the pathologists were with the report.

The defence was adamant that at least notes regarding the cause of the death were needed, but the magistrates said the defence had a responsibility of getting the opinions, as they sought the bail hearing to be brought earlier than the initial set date of Thursday.

The state suggested that the matter be postponed again, but the defence said the strength of the states case was in dispute because on Tuesday the court heard that the postmortem report had been finalised, but only had to be documented. The defense said the police witness was briefed about the cause of death, saying it was extremely relevant to establish if the reports were consistent with the accused’s and witness’ versions.

The state questioned if the defence wanted to proceed with the bail hearing in the absence of the postmortem report.

The magistrate said the witness was playing smart, as the doctor who conducted the second postmortem was still going to speak to the pathologist who conducted the initial one.