Kennedy 12 case falling apart

The prosecution case in the trial of the Kennedy 12 is heading for collapse.

This follows a three-day hearing in which three state witnesses testified before magistrate Sharon Marks at the Durban Magistrates' court.

Under cross examination from defence attorney, Advocate Jimmy Howse, state witness Thembi Sibongile Nxumalo admitted that she is in the habit of falsely incriminating innocent people.

At an identity parade held in November 2009, Nxumalo pointed out only five of the accused as having taken part in the crime of the night of 26 September 2009. She also pointed out other people who were not even near Kennedy Road on the fateful night as having taken part. But, from the witness stand she pointed out eleven of the accused as having perpetrated the offences.

That prompted Advocate Howse to ask her if she has a habit of implicating innocent people, to which she answered in the affirmative.

Earlier, court witness Warrant Officer Siyabonga Denford Mncadi of the South African Police Service Crime Intelligence Unit had not helped the prosecution by alleging that he was phoned by one of the accused to assist them as they were held hostage by a mob that was chanting slogans calling for the death of S'bu Zikode, Abahlali president, and denouncing the local policing forum. Mncadi informed the court that the mob appeared angry and visibly intoxicated.

Advocate Howse also questioned why Mncadi had not been questioned by the investigating team since he was the only police officer to have witnessed some of the events of that night.

The trial will resume on 18 July when the state will invite some more witnesses.

(Press Release by the Diakonia Council of Churches and used by permission.Visit them at www.diakonia.org.za.)