By Sandile Nkambule | 2019-10-10
AS the trial of Almor Oliveira murder suspect Qing Ming He nears completion, the court was yesterday told of how a balaclava and head masks together with illegal firearms were found in his possession.
This was revealed during the evidence of the investigating officer Detective Superintendent Derrick Makhanya who was led by South African Advocate Gerald Lepan before Judge John Magagula.
According to Makhanya, their investigations led them to Qing Ming, his wife and girlfriend who were found at Ezulwini where his girlfriend resides.
Makhanya told the court that they introduced themselves as police officers investigating the kidnapping of Almor Oliveira and subsequently, his murder.
He further, in his evidence, said they asked to search the house where they found head masks and a rope suspected to have been used in the commission of the offence.
Their investigations further led them to Qing Ming’s flat at Matsebula flats in Manzini where illegal firearms were found in his possession; with only one of the three guns found legally licenced.
One of the guns is a pump action shot gun and an assorted number of live rounds of ammunition.
After the investigations, the three, according to Makhanya, were subsequently arrested and charged with the offences.
However, during the course of their further investigations, the two, Dao Thanda Hue (Ming’s wife) and his girlfriend were released after being exonerated from the crime.
Further evidence given by Makhanya was to the effect that Qing Ming cut off his fingers and when he was asked about same, he did not respond as he remained mute.
The police wanted him to punch his PIN code on his cellphone as they were going about their investigations.
Messages on some of the SIM cards reflected that there was communication between the user of the card and Oliveira’s wife, messages where a sum of E5 million was demanded as ransom.
One of the SIM cards was for a South African number which was not registered with the mobile phone service provider while the others were from local cell numbers of Eswatini.
During cross-examination, seasoned South African-based Advocate Barry Roux put it to detective Makhanya that his client (Qing Ming), the accused person, denied that he had anything to do with Oliveira’s kidnapping during the investigations.
Further, Roux asked Makhanya as to what really did the accused person say in as far as a number plate of a vehicle that was found in his possession and belonging to Kenneth Chirwa, is concerned.
In response, Makhanya told the court that Qing Ming said Ming told them that the number plate of that vehicle was taken by a friend after the car blocked the way. However, Makhanya said that friend never existed as they failed to locate him as claimed by Ming.
Roux further questioned Makhanya about a story that appeared in the Sunday Observer to the effect that Oliveira’s gold card had apparently been recovered by the police and asked if he knew about the card.
However, Makhanya replied to the contrary as he said he was not aware of the story and the gold card.
Advocate Roux handed over from the bar, the cutting of the story that was published by the newspaper as part of his evidence.
The matter has since been postponed to December 11 and 12 for continuation as the defence is expected to put its case after the crown has closed its case.
Advocate Lepan is instructed by Principal Crown Counsel Thabo Dlamini in the matter while Roux is instructed by lawyer Noncedo Ndlangamandla of Mabila Attorneys in Association with N Ndlangamandla.
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