Krejcir assault could not have killed man - doctor

Johannesburg - Injuries sustained by a man who claims to have been assaulted by Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir could not have killed him, a doctor told the High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, on Monday.

Dr Sifiso Ndlangamandla examined Bheki Lukhele a few days after the alleged assault.

Under cross-examination by Annelene van den Heever, for Krejcir, Ndlangamandla said Lukhele could not have died from first degree burns he sustained on his head and the side of his face.

Krejcir, Desai Luphondo, Warrant Officers Samuel "Saddam" Maropeng and George Nthoroane, Jan Lefu Mofokeng, and Siboniso Miya face charges of attempted murder for the alleged attack on Lukhele.

They also face charges of dealing in drugs and kidnapping.

"There was mild swelling on his face and head," Ndlangamandla said, referring to his medical report on Lukhele.

He said he observed no burns on Lukhele's chest, back, or shoulders.

Lukhele previously told the court he had sustained burns and scarring on these areas after Krejcir had poured boiling water from a kettle over his head.

Ndlangamandla, however, said the burns sustained by Lukhele could have come only from hot water and not boiling water.

Boiling water would have resulted in second and third degree burns which would have been accompanied by blisters and severe swelling of the skin.

Lukhele's burns could not have resulted in scarring.

Ndlangamandla also testified that upon his examination of Lukhele, he had not noticed any pain in his chest or stomach.

Lukhele has testified to having been kicked and punched in the stomach.

Earlier, Ndlangamandla said he did not suspect Lukhele had been tortured.

"I did not pick up on the fact that he had been tortured," he said.

Police integrity

Meanwhile, the proceedings were being held with a different set of police guards after the integrity of the members of an elite police unit guarding the court was questioned last week.

This came after some of them were accused of influencing Luphondo into making an alleged confession of his part in the kidnapping, attempted murder, and drug dealing case.

On Thursday, prosecutor Louis Mashiane began a trial-within-a-trial when he asked the court to accept a statement from Luphondo, which was made shortly after his arrest in November.

The matter would be dealt with during Monday's proceedings.

Krejcir and his co-accused have all pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

They allegedly recruited a man known as Doctor Nkosi to help smuggle 25kg of tik (methamphetamine) to Australia.

He worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International Airport and allegedly disappeared with the shipment.

Krejcir and his co-accused allegedly kidnapped and tortured his brother Lukhele in a bid to have him reveal his sibling's whereabouts.

Nkosi has also testified in the trial where he confessed to stealing the drugs.

The trial continues.