State witness in the alleged murder of Italy Keedirile Setlampoloka has admitted that many improprieties in a criminal or other investigation may not be reliable.
Detective Superintendent Sergeant Marapo told the court that certain scenarios put before him were improper when carrying out an investigation.Marapo was cross-examined by the defence team of attorneys Kgosiitsile Ngakaagae and Busang Manewe on his extensive experience in detective work and the alleged murder investigation.
Ngakaagae had on several occasions relied on the summary of evidence to poke questions at Marapo regarding the investigation asking if it was proper to have excluded the container that was allegedly used in the presumed torture of Setlampoloka.
Further, he questioned why exhibits were not sealed and signed in front of all the accused persons and an independent witness.
Also, Ngakaagae asked why the police never enquired about a suspicious car that was seen at the vicinity of the scene to eliminate any doubts.
Marapo admitted that it was improper because it was part of the evidence that would have been crucial for the investigation.
Marapo had on several occasions agreed with the defence counsels and admitted to certain improper conduct as outlined by the defence team.
“Any piece of evidence found at the crime scene should be protected, preserved and be admitted as part of the exhibits after being marked, so I would say to leave such, was an improper thing to do,” he said.
Marapo, who earlier on was cross-examined by Manewe, admitted in his testimony that he had once been asked to escort the accused persons to the crime scene.
Marapo had admitted that the then suspects were led to the crime scene by a team of investigators.
“Is it proper for the investigating team to lead the suspects to the scene, or should the suspects be the ones leading the team to the scene in the first place? I find it very bizarre that the team led the suspects,” said Manewe.
The attorneys finally agreed that there were many improprieties in the police investigation that cannot be ignored.
“However, Marapo would not admit to any incompetence on the part of the investigating officer(s). He said he was bound by the code of conduct and could not speak ill of his boss. The six police officers Detective Assistant Superintendent Thuso Dintwe, Sub Inspector Ranto Mmeleki, Constable Tebogo Khutsafalo, Constable Kabo Ramohibidu, Constable Michael Ramohitshane, and Constable Patrick Gobotswang are alleged to have killed Setlampoloka.
The court papers stated that, Setlampoloka of Mahalapye was found dead near Gabane on July 30, 2009, a day after his arrest and detention at Mogoditshane Police Station.
It was reported that Setlampoloka was arrested by members of the Serious Crimes Squad in connection with a spate of armed robberies.
It is further alleged that Setlampoloka died while being tortured by police attempting to extract a confession from him.All have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Defence
The case has been adjourned to June 29, 2015 with a total of 14 more state witnesses to take the stand.