The counsel of two young Bloemfontein men accused of murder and gangsterism in Rocklands have closed their defence cases in the Free State High Court.
Only one, Tumelo Selebano, 20, testified in his own defence and called no witnesses. The second accused, Tladi Mafunda, 22, did not want to take the stand in his own defence. His counsel also did not call any witnesses. Earlier, the court acquitted the third accused, Nkwebe Seatile, 21, on both charges.
Testifying in his own defence, Selebano submitted that he acted in self-defence when he stabbed the victim, Lebogang Gaoboihi, on the day in question.
He told the court he was scared and feared for his life when the man allegedly attacked him and he had to defend himself. He further denied most of the information in police statements, compiled with what he had told police after he was arrested. This includes the statement “I am a gangster” he made to a Hawks officer during a visit to the crime scene. He told the court the knife he defended himself with was lying on the ground and he picked it up as the victim started to attack him. He disagreed with evidence in a police statement that he had told police he was always carrying an “Okapi 3 Star” knife. “I am denying it,” he told the court during cross-examination.
The court adjourned until Thursday for final arguments in the matter. – email@example.com
André Grobler – Bloemfontein Courant