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Williams and Mahlangu trial day 3
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
December 20, 2011

WOZA leaders Jennifer Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu appeared in Magistrates Tredgold Regional Court A on trial facing Kidnapping and Theft charges on 19 and 20 December. The matter was before Magistrate Goodluck Sangweni with Prosecutor is Mr Goodwill Katenaire and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Kossam Ncube defending the two accused. The trial continues on 21 December at 9am.

The trial had been postponed from 12 December 2011 as the key witness Emma Mabhena did not come to court. Once again on 19 December she was not in court so the trial began with 2nd witness Bokani Nleya.

After the state case was presented, the defence attorney cross examined the witness Bokani Nleya. She made three different statements than those recorded by the police. When challenged that she was contradicting her own signed statement. In her evidence she has said Nolwandle Simunyu had searched with Jennifer Williams but in her statement it alleged that Magodonga Mahlangu had accompanied Williams. When pressed, she said that the Police officer recording the statement had altered the name in her statement. She also said that the police officer had not asked her the value of the torch but just inserted 300 South African Rand. She said the torch was bought for 40 Rand and she was to sell it for USD 10.

Day two began with 75year old Emma Mabhena taking the witness stand. She is the main state witness and is said to have been kidnapped by Williams and Mahlangu. Upon cross examination she stated emphatically that she was never physically forced into the vehicle and that none of the accused persons ever threatened her or kept her against her will in the vehicle. Her signed statement reads - "the other lady who was in this vehicle opened the rear passenger door and pulled me inside the vehicle while this slim lady pushed me from outside." She continued "The lady with light complexion warned me that if I wanted peace I should keep quiet and just direct them to where my grandson's girlfriend was staying".

Although the statement was signed by Emma Mabena in her verbal evidence in court she refuted this part and other parts of her statement that implied kidnapping or use of force by any of the accused. As with state witness, Bokani Nleya, Emma Mabhena disassociated herself with most of the statement penned in her named by police officers.

The final state witness took the stand and lead evidence but will be cross examined at 9am tomorrow.

Events in court where both state witnesses have disassociated themselves with statements penned on their behalf by George Levison Ngwenya of CID Law and Order Department point to his long term threats against Williams and Mahlangu to fix them with criminal charges.

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