South Africa: My Client Was Shot in the Hip, Defence for Cop Concedes

Former Durban Central police detective Bhekukwazi Mdweshu - accused of leading a violent extortion racket at the Umlazi-based Glebelands Hostel - was shot in the hip in 2014 on a night of heavy gunfire between two warring gangs at the massive hostel complex, his defence counsel said on Wednesday.

Advocate Martin Krog made the admission during the third day of cross-examining one of the state's crucial witnesses, who has been in state protection since 2017 and cannot be named.

The Pietermaritzburg High Court also heard that some of the cash extorted from residents was used to buy muthi, used for "protection" of Mdweshu and his crew when they allegedly attacked rival gang members at the hostel.

"Accused one will concede that on the night you talk of he was shot in the hip, but not in the course of attacking Block R," Krog told the witness, without offering further details.

He was referring to counts four to seven of the state's indictment - the attempted murders of Bongani Mthembu, William Mthembu (the since killed leader of the Mthembu gang), Mandlakayise Dyanthi and Lucas Mbekelwa.

The state has charged Mdweshu, Khayelihle Mbuthuma, Vukani Mcobothi, Eugene Wonderboy Hlophe, Ncomekile Ntshangase (Mdweshu's cousin)...

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