A third police official arrested for the death of 16-year-old Nateniël Julies from Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg, told the court on Thursday that the charges before him are not the same as the ones he was formally charged with at the time of his arrest.
A seemingly irritated Vorster Netshiongolo made a brief appearance in the Protea magistrate’s court.
The tall 36-year-old was dressed in a white and black jacket, dark jeans and white and blue Adidas takkies. His face was covered with a blue mask.
When his charges — accessory to murder after the fact, defeating the ends of justice and possession of prohibited ammunition — were read out, Netshiongolo called his lawyer to the dock.
His lawyer, advocate Abre Loubser, told the court that Netshiongolo had advised him that the charges before court were not the same as those presented to him on the day he was charged at the police station.
Netshiongolo also took out an A4 piece of paper, which appeared to be his charge sheet, and held it in his hands while his lawyer informed the court.
The detective, from the Crime Prevention Unit in Eldorado Park, was arrested on Tuesday. At the time, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate said Netshiongolo was charged with defeating the ends of justice and being in possession of prohibited ammunition.
On Thursday morning, Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the charges had been revised and that an accessory after the fact charge had been added.
“It means that the sergeant [Netshiongolo] allegedly unlawfully and intentionally after the murder of the child, assisted the accused [two other police officers] to escape liability or evade justice.”
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told the media after his appearance that it was “within their rights to amend charges if an accused person has not yet pleaded guilty”.
On Monday, Scorpion Simon Ndyalvane, 46, and Caylene Whiteboy, 26, appeared in the same court. They were charged with murder, possession of prohibited ammunition, defeating the ends of justice and discharging a firearm in public. The pair was remanded in custody and are expected to appear in court on September 10 for legal representation. Netshiongolo will also appear alongside his co-accused on the same day to make an application for bail.
Julies, 16, who had Down syndrome, was allegedly shot dead in Eldorado Park on Wednesday last week.