Trial of men accused of revenge murder of police officer in court

MBOMBELA – The state won its case in a trial within a trial, against  a man accused of the murder of Const Joseph Baloyi.
Mr Sabelo Lubisi (26) and Mr Mthobisi Lenox Ngwenyama (29) are charged with his murder.
They appeared in the Nelspruit circuit of the High Court this week.
A trial within the murder trial was conducted after they claimed police assaulted them to obtain their statements.  Judge Johan Kreer ruled that Lubisi’s testimony had discrepancies and he had been unconvincing. Lubisi had claimed police had put a plastic bag over his head and tried to suffocate him in the Nelspruit police station.
In 2015 Baloyi arrested Ngwenyama for alleged crimes committed in KaBokweni between 2012 and 2014. According to the charge sheet, Ngwenyama threatened to kill him.
Ngwenyama escaped from the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court in May that year. He and three other men reportedly overpowered the court orderly who was escorting them through the underground tunnels connecting the court’s holding cells to the police station.
A week later  Ngwenyama allegedly shot and killed Baloyi in his vehicle outside his house. The post-mortem stated he died from “penetrating gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, massive blood loss”. Capt Vusi Thobela read out the statement Lubisi had given to the police. Lubisi explained how he had robbed a house to acquire a firearm.  It also went into detail about how him and Ngwenyama with others had previously burnt two vehicles and shot at a man through his window. He had wanted to get revenge on the man.  Lubisi’ statement also read that he had been in Jerusalem hiding from the police when one of his friend met him at a tavern.  The friend told him how  Ngewenyama had followed Baloyi to his home and shot him numerous times in his vehicle. His friend had told him not to tell anyone.

Kreer postponed the trial for May 8 to 19.


Tereasa Dias

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