2010-06-19 – PRETORIA HIGH COURT – Police LtCol Tsietsi Mano – who was arrested while heading the SAPS probe of the torture/murder of Ventersdorp farmer Eugene Terre’Blanche in April 2010– was found guilty by acting Pretoria High-Court judge Khami Makhafola of kidnapping, holding captive for five months and extensively torturing an innocent man Nano's investigating police-team had suspected of having kidnapped and murdered an unnamed police woman in October 2004.
The Court ordered the SA Police Minister to pay R572,259 in damages to traditional healer Madimetja Kutumela for the illegal captivity and torture carried out by Mano’s police team over a five-month period.
Traditional healer Madimetja Puhineas Kutumela, 46, it was found by the court, had been held captive illegally between October 2004 and March 2005 by the Mano-investigation team, which also included Sr Superintendent Nick Pitsoane.
The SAPS team arrested Kutumela in October 2004. The high court ruled this week that Mano had obtained the arrest-order ‘under false pretences’ and that the magistrate who had issued it was deliberately misled, said acting judge Khami Makhofala in his Pretoria High Court ruling.
Lt Col Mano and his team were also slammed by the court for their torture-practices: ruling that the traditional healer was held captive illegally between October 2004 and March 2005 in four different places by the Mano-investigation team, “ despite the fact that they had ‘not one shred of evidence against Mr Kutumela…’
While he was held in police-captivity, Kutumela -- according to his own testimony -- was repeatedly shocked with electricity, strangled with the ‘wet-bag’ method and the police-team also threatened to cut off his penis. Kutumela testified that he was stripped naked and forced to stand up while the police officers were firing off shots over his head and shoulders. During one of these torture-sessions he became so terrified of being killed that he befouled himself, he testified. He feared for his life so much that he had at one stage even told his police-torturers that he ‘knew where the body was’, however the police were of course unable to find it.
During his five-months-long illegal captivity by his police-torturers, Kutumela was also questioned by a police-psychiatrist - who had then warned the Mano-team that Kutumela was innocent – but the team ignored this psychiatrist’s warnings and continued torturing him and holding him captive, the psychiatrist told the High Court. The court also ruled that Mano and Pitsoane’s testimony, in which they denied the kidnapping and torture of Kutumela, ‘are devoid of all truth.These police members have behaved in a most horrific manner,’ said the judge in his summary.
Last month, in the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial, LtCol Mano had also testified that the two arrested suspects in the Terre’Blanche case had ‘confessed killing Terre’Blanche’. He took one of these suspects to a magistrate to have this ‘confession’ registered in a court of law – but was stopped from doing so by an interdict taken out by the suspects’ lawyer. http://www.rapport.co.za/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Regter-kap-ondersoeker-oor-marteling-20100619