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Bumpy start to ‘pizza’ murder trial


November 7, 2008 – The trial of Phoenix resident Ntokozo Ngcobo, who stands accused of
murdering a pizza delivery man, got off to an argumentative start in
the Durban High Court on Thursday over the way police arrested the
suspect.

The trial of Phoenix resident Ntokozo Ngcobo, who stands accused of
murdering a pizza delivery man, got off to an argumentative start in
the Durban High Court on Thursday over the way police arrested the
suspect.

Ngcobo is charged with robbing and murdering pizza delivery man Raam Ramsaroop in 2006.

Ngcobo shook his head as prosecutor advocate Mbongeni Mthembu called his witnesses.

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Among them were a string of police officers who were called to a dirt
road near Glen Anil, where Ramsaroop's body was found on September 27,
2006.

Ramsaroop went to deliver a pizza in Phoenix to someone called Bongani
on the evening of September 26, 2006, when he disappeared.

Ngcobo allegedly stole Ramsaroop's Toyota Corolla that evening, forced
him to drive into deserted sugar-cane fields and shot him in the head.

Ramsaroop's car was found abandoned on the R-102 the following morning.
Ngcobo is also facing charges of unlawful possession of a 9-mm pistol
and 14 rounds of ammunition, after allegedly being arrested with the
pistol in his possession at a games shop in Phoenix three months after
the shooting. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Insp Loovanthara Kistiah said police had received a report of a
suspicious man with a firearm in the Fun World shop at Mt Edgecombe
Plaza.

Firearm

Kistiah said he and two officers of the crime prevention unit went to
the shop where they could see a firearm stuck in the back of Ngcobo's
pants.

He was searched, the firearm was removed and Ngcobo taken to the police
van, Kistiah said. Police later searched Ngcobo's room, where a further
four rounds of ammunition were found.

Ngcobo was employed at the shop, while Ramsaroop worked at the Debonairs outlet directly adjoining the games arcade.

Arcade owner Sagren Naicker told the court he often saw the two
speaking to each other, and was under the impression they were friends.

But Kistiah's recollection of the arrest was not backed by the testimony of another employee of the games outlet, Eric Jili.

Testifying through an interpreter, Jili said police had asked everyone
for the names of employees before marching Ngcobo out of the shop and
behind a police vehicle.

Ngcobo was not searched in the shop, Jili said.

Ngcobo, through his attorney, Pindile Goya, claimed he was not present
during the search of his room, and that police had broken his door to
gain access.

Police claimed the door was open and Ngcobo was present when they found four rounds of ammunition.

Goya put it to Inspector Kistiah that his evidence was not consistent
with the events described by Ngcobo. Kistiah said Ngcobo was lying.

The trial continues on Monday.