Soldier accused in Maswanganyi case

One of the accused in the murder of the senior policeman is a private in the SANDF.

Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi, whose body was found in a field near Wallmansthal. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - It emerged on Tuesday that one of the men accused of murdering policeman Tirhani Maswanganyi is employed in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and has a rape conviction.

Major General Maswanganyi's half-naked body was found bound and dumped in a field along the R101, about 20 kilometers north of Pretoria last month.

The four men accused of the murder made a brief appearance in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court on Tuesday afternoon before their bail hearing was postponed yet again.

At the hearing it emerged that Private Isaac Vele is employed as a driver in the SANDF's Internal Support Services and is based in Pretoria.

In his bail application, he told the court he has a previous conviction of rape, for which he received a suspended sentence.

Vele says he can't understand how he's been implicated in the murder, because on the day in question, he was picking up his chief of staff at OR Tambo International Airport.

His commanding officer has written an affidavit supporting his claim, but it emerged in court that the document hadn't been commissioned.

The matter has been postponed to Thursday to allow Vele's advocate time to commission the document.