This was the man’s statement under oath.
I, Erick Maziya, a twenty nine year old South African citizen, residing at house number 1378 Mollo Street, Esangweni section, in Thembisa, hereby declare under oath that: on Saturday, day of 17th February 2007, we were having some beers at our local shebeen along with my three friends, Spitz Mbabane, Jackson Moiloa and Spokes Makuwa at about six o’clock in the evening. We were joined by other regulars at the shebeen, Randy, Billy, and Duncan. They told us that they have a job for us and it was by their workplace. They said we have to go and steal some stuff from their company.
Apparently there were trucks already loaded with cargo and we were supposed tear off the tarpaulins and steal the cargo. The detailed plan of operation stated that we should first monitor the securities and see how often they made their rounds, which was believed to be once every hour. We were to dismantle the slabs and find a white plastic bag left hanging as a mark of which ones to dismantle. We were told to do our work for fifty minutes and then hide under the trucks with all the loot and then reopen the exit point after the securities were done patrolling. While others were taking other stuff out to the loading zone, where a van would later come and find them, others would stay behind to continue gathering some more of the loot.
We enquired about the alarm system but were assured that it won’t pick us up as the beams from where we were going to enter had been taken care of with a black plastic and no one would recognize it. There was never any need for us to be armed as we were to avoid confrontation with the guards as much as possible. And the loss of property was meant to remain an unsolved mystery. Our merry moment was cut short when suddenly the security guard came patrolling earlier than expected.
We hopped inside one of the trucks we had earlier discovered not to have been locked, but the guard had his gaze on it. We watched him going around, coming in between the trucks to approach from the rear from where we were hiding. We decided to catch him by surprise by jumping out and disarming him of his firearm. My late accomplice was in front of me, and as we rushed towards the guard in the shadows of the trucks, he instructed the guard to lift his arms otherwise he would shoot him. I was also surprised to hear that because as far as I knew we were all not armed.
The next thing I heard was the rapid sound of fire. I quickly dived underneath the truck and ran out of the premises. I did not know who shot who and what the results were of that shooting until the next day when we decided to go and search for our missing friend. We started at the hospitals, police station and then on then to the government mortuary where we found his cadaver.
I declare that the above statement is true and binding on my conscience.
Signed at Boksburg on the 9th day of March 20007
The investigating officer signed and stamped the statement and all the duplicates for the use in court. One copy was handed over to Max Chandler, Major Dladla’s attorney, and he acquired the services of the ballistics expert and a psychologist to corroborate their defence.
The industrial break-in and theft case was done away with, with all the accused found guilty and each sentenced to three years effective imprisonment. Erick Maziya, whose statement was found to be helpful to the state was sentenced to two years. A year of that was suspended while another was to be served as community service at a state owned old age home.
On meeting his attorney, Major was adamant to know if he stood any chance of exoneration on his case, but Max didn’t want to raise any hopes.
“I don’t know, Major, we can’t be too sure as to what the court may decide. The court might happen to see things the opposite way, but we are doing our best to highlight the fact that you were not intending to feel how it was like to kill a man, but was acting on self-defence.”
Max also requested for Major to make a written statement for him to use in court since he never made one. The trial date was set for the 22nd of November 2007 and Major’s anxiety was mounting as the day drew closer and closer.
Major’s statement under oath
I, Major Dladla, hereby state under oath that: I am a South African male, thirty four years of age under the employment of Counter Crime Security Services, residing at 2030 Rabasotho section, Thembisa.
I was on duty on the 18th of February 2007 at my post in Elandsfontein Truckers as a guard, doing a twelve hour shift which started at six o’clock post-meridiem and would end at six o’clock ante-meridiem the next day. At about two o’clock in the morning I went out for my hourly patrol. I noticed that an aerial of one of the trucks was shaking quite vigorously. The idea that there might be people in that truck popped up, but was quickly thwarted by remembering that for anyone to reach the trucks, he should have gone past the beams which would have triggered the alarm. But I nevertheless took out my fire-arm, fed one bullet in the chamber and held it in the palm of my right hand.
When going around the other side, close to the rail track side of the premises, I noticed a hose pipe hanging from the spare tank of the truck with a twenty litre drum on the ground. That served as a positive assertion to my doubts that there must be intruders in the truck.
I went through the first two rows of the trucks where the twenty litre drum was, but first decided to check what made the aerial shake, lest I leave the intruders behind and later be harmed by them. As I was approaching, two people came towards me giving me instructions to put my hands up or else they were going to shoot me. As my gun went off my conscious told me that the man was firing back at me. I wanted to turn back and flee but I was afraid I would be shot on the back. So I kept my finger on the trigger for my dear life until there was an abrupt halt of fire and the man in front of me dropped on his face to the ground.
I ran away, out the yard. I heard a guard from the opposite yard calling me. I went to him and used his land line to call my office and told them to call the cops and an ambulance as I was in a situation. The controller then sent for the cops and the ambulance and my manager also came onsite.
I hereby declare that the statement is true and binding on my conscience and that it was written out of my own free will and is to the best of my knowledge accurate representation of the incident on the night in question.
Signed at; Elandsfontein. On the 26th day of November 2007.
Tell us what you think: Do you think Major stands a chance getting acquitted?