The Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto has been told how a police officer allegedly loaded the deadly and prohibited ammunition used to shoot dead 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies.
The ammunition, which has been declared unlawful by the state was reportedly loaded, by Sergeant Simon Scorpion Ndyalvane, into a firearm belonging to the Eldorado Park police station, the court heard.
In a statement prepared by Independent Police Investigative Directorate senior investigator Johannes Mathoko, the court was told how Ndyalvane booked out a shotgun from his workplace and loaded it with his own ammunition.
Mathoko said Ndyalvane had earlier fired the deadly ammunition at a crowd of people who were consuming liquor in Freedom Park near Eldorado Park.
He testified that, from Freedom Park, Ndyalvane and co-accused Constable Caylene Whiteeboy then headed to Eldorado Park, where Whiteboy allegedly fired a shot at Julies at close range, killing the teenager.
“Ndyalvane then loaded the injured Julies into a police vehicle and drove to hospital, where he was declared dead. At the hospital, Ndyalvane then called his colleague Detective Sergeant Foster Netshiongolo to tamper with the scene,” said Mathoko.
Netshiongolo had been booked off sick on that day, but he managed to rush to the crime scene and allegedly tampered with it.
“Netshiongolo staged a crime scene and placed ammunition to pretend that it was an earlier shooting between police and gangs,” said Mathoko.
According to the post-mortem report, Julies allegedly sustained puncture wounds to the chest and abdomen which were consistent with pellets fired from a gun.
His cause of death was allegedly a gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen.
Mathoko said ammunition used to kill Julies was banned for use and considered to be live ammunition, alleging:”Ndyalvane clearly intended to use ammunition he acquired somewhere. He also used prohibited ammunition on a state firearm. Julies posed no threat to them. Netshongolo tried to mislead [the] investigation and that proved common purpose by the accused. Since he was off duty and booked off sick, he was not supposed to be near the accused.”
“Netshiongolo even went to nurses at the hospital and told them that he will sign off the deceased’s body.
Later at the scene, he had informed Julies’ family that he couldn’t assist them because he was off duty,” Mathoko said.
‘He didn’t pose a danger to anyone’
Mathoko added that his investigation had revealed that Ndyalvane had previous convictions of assault, as well as a pending case against him.
Mathoko asked the court not to grant Ndyalvane, Witheboy and Netshiongolo bail, fearing that could anger residents.
“They (accused) may face life imprisonment should they be convicted. They are familiar with the identity of witnesses and are working in the area. They are police officers, and they could influence witnesses who are known to their colleagues.
“The family of [the] deceased and residents were disturbed by this incident. They were surprised that Julies, who posed no threat to them because he was disabled, could be killed by people meant to protect him,” said Mathoko.
In a statement prepared by Julies’ mother Bridget Harris, she told the court that on that day she went to the police station looking for her son, but thar Eldorado Park police had failed to assist her. Harris then went to Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital, where she found her deceased son.
“My son was very quiet and didn’t pose danger to anyone. They should not get bail. Police officers are trained to protect and not to kill. What they did to us will cause more pain and injustice should they be released, and we are afraid of them,” said Harris.
The hearing continues.