A policeman accused of murdering a detainee at the Honeydew police station told the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday that the allegation was a “lie”.
“The person who made this allegation is lying through his/her teeth. I did not enter the holding cells and I cannot put myself in the holding cell as it would put my safety in danger. I cannot defend myself amongst those people,” Rudzani Marumo, 36, told the court during his formal bail application.
Marumo, along with his two co-accused, appeared in the court for a formal bail application. They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.
Another co-accused in the matter was granted bail on the day of arrest on October 19, 2019.
Marumo pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) arrested the four cops after their investigation revealed that the constables had allegedly continuously punched and kicked the two arrested males until the 39-year-old male suspect dropped down to the ground while in handcuffs.
After the alleged assault, the policemen left the detainees in the holding cell, News24 reported.
In Marumo’s version of events to the court, he claims that during his night shift he was attempting to assist a complainant on Tanzania Street in Extension 2 of Cosmo City when he was assaulted by one of the suspects.
“I told him, you cannot assault anyone in front of the police. He then hit me with the T-shirt he was carrying in his hand while I was still seated in the car. I then got out of the car. He slapped me. I warned him to stop what he was doing, and he continued,” he said.
The first suspect was eventually arrested by the police officer. During this time a second suspect approached the marked state vehicle in a bid to “free” the first suspect, according to Marumo.
“We opened the door of the van so we can put the suspect in. He was inside the car when one giant African male came and pushed us. He pulled our suspect out of the van. In this moment the suspect found more chances to hit me,” Marumo added.
Marumo and his colleague then called for back-up. Four police vans responded and the two suspects were subsequently arrested and taken to the Honeydew police station.
He told the court that, when the two suspects were detained in the cells, they had no injuries and they were not bleeding.
The accused claims that he does not know what happened to them.
The 36-year-old also told the court that he was not a flight risk and was a breadwinner for his wife and three children.
The matter continues.