Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Court orders oral evidence from private pathologist

Francistown High Court judge, Justice Tshepo Motswagole, has ordered the state to subpoena private pathologist, Dr Reddy Marram Reddy, to come and give oral evidence in the murder trial of Gloria Zwemizi.

The presiding judge made the order after refusing to admit an affidavit tendered by defence counsel, Kandasamy Yoganathan, in the trial in which Rodney Masuku is charged with the February 2006 murder of Zwemizi at the Francistown’s Somerset Extension location.
Masuku is also charged with the assault of Oabile Seobe.

“I can’t admit this report. It appears to me Dr Marram Reddy is a critical witness. This is an appropriate case where the state has to subpoena Dr Marram Reddy to testify on the contents of his affidavit,” pronounced Justice Motswagole on the grounds that the contents of the affidavit fundamentally differed with the findings of the government pathologist Dr Pathnaik.

Testifying under oath, Masuku admitted to stabbing Gloria twice in a bid to ward off an attack from Oabile Seobe on the fateful night. He also claimed that Gloria held him by the testicles and he stabbed her so that she could loosen the grip on his testicles.

He said when he arrived from Pula Bar around 3.30 in the morning, where he had gone drinking with his friends, he was attacked by Gloria and Seobe alleging that Gloria was armed with a knife while Seobe was armed with a sharp instrument.

He claimed that during the scuffle that lasted about five to 10 minutes. Seobe stabbed him in the head while he (Masuku) stabbed Gloria to release his testicles because his life was in danger .

“I stabbed her on the back with the knife that I got from her. My life was in danger of death. Seobe was also stabbing me. I used Gloria to block the stab attempts by Seobe. Seobe also beat me with fists on my chest,” he said during examination by Yoganathan.

He said after the incident, he blacked although he did not narrate to the court how he got to Sebina Village from where he was arrested by the police.

Masuku said after he was arrested, he found a Jeyes bottle in the back of the police van he was loaded into and he drank the fluid in a suicide attempt after the police told him that he had killed Gloria.

He denied attacking Gloria and Seobe although he admitted that his relationship with Gloria at the time of the incident was strained because he was no longer working and unable to support her.
He concluded his testimony saying, “May Gloria’s soul rest in peace”.

Under cross examination by Chief State Prosecutor, Antonette Kula, Masuku denied going to Gloria’s house on the fateful night maintaining that the fight took place outside the yard of the deceased.
He also denied that he broke the window of the car that was parked in front of Gloria’s house.
Asked whether Seobe intentionally stabbed Gloria, he said no, because he had used Gloria as shield when Seobe tried to stab him.

Asked whether he stabbed Gloria intentionally, he answered in the affirmative explaining that it was a bid to make Gloria loosen the grip on his testicles as Seobe was attacking him.

He said Seobe attacked him because he wanted to get rid of him, alleging that Gloria was in love with Seobe and another soldier Thabo Alfred Letsholo. He said he was fired from the BDF because of his love affair with Gloria.

The case will continue on the 5th of May.

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