Aggett fingerprint expert grilled over photos

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Former police fingerprint expert Charl Lamprecht has been grilled for taking only four photographs in the cell of anti-apartheid activist Neil Aggett following his death at the then John Vorster Square police station in 1982.

During cross-examination at the inquest into Aggett’s death in the High Court in Johannesburg, Lamprecht came under fire when he testified that he only picked up one identifiable fingerprint in the cell where Aggett was found hanging.

Aggett’s family has rejected the security branch police claims that he committed suicide.

Lamprecht says he was not even aware that he was dealing with a high profile case when he was called to go and take photographs and fingerprints after Aggett’s death.

There are suspicions that security branch police killed Aggett and staged the hanging.

State lawyer Shubnum Singh questioned Lamprecht on his findings after his arrival on the scene.

Brutally tortured

Earlier, State Prosecutor Jabulane Mlotshwa used the murder of another anti-apartheid activist, Stanza Bopape, to demonstrate how brutal and untruthful the Security Branch Police were during the apartheid era.

Bopape died two days after his arrest at John Vorster Square where he was brutally tortured in June 1988. During cross-examination by Mlotshwa, former security branch officer Nicolaas Deetlefs said he was told by his colleagues that Bopape’s body was blown up before it was thrown into a crocodile-infested river in Mpumalanga.

However, the security branch at the time said Bopape had escaped and disappeared while being transported to Vereeniging. Even the commissioner of police Johan van der Merwe was involved, and he had applied for amnesty.

Mlotshwa and the Aggett family believe that Deetlefs has not been truthful during his four days of testimony.

Mlotshwa says Deetlefs could still face criminal charges for assaulting former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan in the early 1980s.

Nicolaas Deetlefs admit to assaulting Barbara Hogan:

The inquest will continue on Monday.

Click below for stream of Neil Aggett Inquest