'Loud bang' before police were seen removing Nathaniel Julies' body, court told
A neighbour of slain Eldorado Park teenager Nathaniel Julies described to the high court in Johannesburg on Monday how a policeman picked up the teen's body and placed it in his vehicle before driving away.
Tasneem Kaldine is the first witness who was called by the state in its case against three police officers — Const Caylene Whiteboy and sergeants Simon Ndyalvane and Vorster Netshiongolo — who are charged in connection with Julies' murder on August 26 2020.
They have pleaded not guilty.
Whiteboy and Ndyalvane face a count of murder each. It is alleged that Whiteboy fired the shot that killed Julies while Whiteboy was the passenger in the police vehicle driven by Ndyalvane on the day.
Prosecutor Johan Badenhorst told the court that Whiteboy and Ndyalvane acted in common purpose for the murder. The doctrine of common purpose establishes that when two people agree to commit a crime, each will be responsible for the acts of the other.
Netshiongolo is facing a charge of being an accessory after the murder. The state alleges that Netshiongolo was intentionally engaged in conduct to protect Whiteboy and Ndyalvane.
Ndyalvane and Netshiongolo also face counts of unlawful possession of ammunition.
All accused also face a count of defeating the ends of justice, while Netshiongolo is also facing a count of perjury.
Kaldine told the court that around 8.45pm on August 26 last year, she heard a loud bang, which sounded like a bomb, near her home. She rushed to her door to find out what was happening.
She said when she opened the door, she saw a policeman removing a body from under a truck parked near her house.
She said the officer picked up the boy and placed him at the back of the police bakkie before driving off.
Kaldine said by the time she went outside her house, the police vehicle had been driven away. She did not recognise the boy at the time but her daughter told her it was Julies.
"When the police had left, I got out of the house and told Nathaniel's family what had just happened," Kaldine said.
Kaldine said she saw no-one else at the scene.
It has emerged through cross-examination that Ndyalvane would say he was a commander of the public order policing team, which had obtained information that there was a truck near her home which contained stolen goods.
Kaldine said she did not know anything about stolen goods.
Before the officers pleaded, judge Ramarumo Monama warned that the charges they were facing carried prescribed minimum sentences which the court had to impose if the accused were found guilty, unless there were compelling circumstances dictating that the court should depart from the prescribed sentences.
If Whiteboy and Ndyalvane are found guilty of murder, a sentence of life will be imposed.
The trial continues on Tuesday when the state is expected to call its second witness.