Torture: Witness nails cops

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A State witness, the first to take to the stand in the case of two Pumula North policemen accused of torturing a woman while investigating a case of fraud, yesterday told the court she saw them assaulting the complainant.

The police officers allegedly committed the crime while investigating a case of fraud involving R1 000 in October last year.

Constables Tinevimbo Shoko of Nkulumane and Tazvitya Mudzingwa of Emakhandeni in Bulawayo, who are both based at Pumula North Police Station, pleaded not guilty to the charges when they appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Themba Chimiso.

Two State witnesses, Ritha Mhlanga and Simanga Dube, are testifying in the case.

Only Mhlanga managed to testify yesterday before the court adjourned as the magistrate had other commitments.

Mhlanga told the court she accompanied the complainant Mankazanyana Moyo of Pumula East to Pumula North Police Station where she had been summoned in connection with a dispute she had with two other women.

Mhlanga attested that Shoko assaulted Moyo with a baton stick under her foot and denied her medication.

The matter was further remanded to March 1 for continuation of trial where Dube is expected to testify.

The two police officers are out of custody.
The State’s case is that on October 18, 2011, Moyo was summoned to the police station by Shoko to solve a dispute between her and two women only identified as NaFlorence and NaMaNdlovu.

Moyo was allegedly interrogated by Shoko on allegations of fraud which she denied.

Shoko is alleged to have assaulted her twice under her foot using a baton stick.

The State further alleges that Mudzingwa entered the charge office carrying a rifle and slapped Moyo once on the left cheek.

Moyo suffered a swollen foot and eye.

Moyo later reported the matter to the police at West Commonage.

A medical report from Mpilo Central Hospital confirmed the injuries.

Charity Nyathi is prosecuting.