Charges dropped against 27 in Masiphumelele public violence case
State failed to produce the docket in court
Today in the Wynberg Magistrate Court, all charges were dropped against 27 of the 35 people that were arrested a year ago during the unrest that occurred in Masiphumelele. This follows the failure of the State to produce the docket in court this morning.
Residents protested for better policing in the community after a teenage boy was raped and murdered, while on the same day a woman was raped while going to fetch water.
The 27, accused of public violence, have repeatedly appeared in court since last year.
The news comes as a relief to the community as well, which has been mobilising to put funds together to pay for lawyers for the accused.
So far R18,000 has been raised by businesses in the community.
Community leader Lubabalo Vellem will be appearing with seven others on 27 September.
Vuyo Bhushula, who is one of the remaining accused facing charges of public violence, damage to property and attempted murder, says they are very happy with today’s judgement.
“We are very happy about today, because it shows that there is progress in the cases. We hope that also when we go to court on the 27th we will see the same progress,” said Bhushula.
Advocate Lennox Ntsimango, representing the accused, said the state failed to produce the docket in court today.
“The state wanted to postpone the case further but I had to object to that because they have a right to a fair and speedy trial and they should have had the docket in court.
“This case has been going since last year. Some people have lost their jobs, while some who still have those jobs still lose money every month because of postponements,” said Ntsimango.
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