NATIONAL NEWS - A legal representative for a police captain accused of racially abusing black police officials and using the k-word, today told the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court that a witness was not present when the commissioner of oaths signed her statement.
Advocate Dannie Nel, for Captain James Henrico, was questioning former police reservist, Sarah Mkhwanazi – who was stationed at Pretoria Central Police Station for 10 years – as she took the stand. She told the court that Henrico called her using the k-word.
She said she was in the holding cells with three other officers when Nel addressed her.
“He called me to come and sign documents and also told me to return the [South African Police Service] SAPS uniform,” she said.
Mkhwanazi said Henrico seemed angry when he called her.
Its believed Mkhwanazi and the other officers had been arrested, but this has not been confirmed.
During cross examination, Nel asked Mkhwanazi whether she was the one who wrote and signed her statement. She said that she was the author of her statement.
He also asked her if she was present when her statement was signed by the commissioner of oaths, and Mkhwanazi said she was present.
Nel put it to Mkhwanazi that she was lying because the commissioner would testify that he did not sign her statement but gave it to another colleague to sign.
Mkhwanazi said that could not be true because she was the one who took the statement to the commissioner of oaths to sign.
The court heard through Nel that the commissioner of oaths only signed one page of the two-page statement in the absence of Mkhwanazi.
Mkhwanazi denied these claims.
“I’m the one one who gave him the statement, I gave him a docket and it was not one page,” she said.
According to Lawyers for Human Rights, complaints lodged against Henrico dated back to 2016 and related to racial abuse.
He has been accused of using racial slurs and verbally harassing his colleagues.
The trial is expected to run over two days. It’s believed Henrico intends to call six witnesses to the stand, while the State would call three or four witnesses.
The matter continues tomorrow.