Did gang accused lie to court?

2008-08-03 00:00

The possibility that one of the four alleged members of the “five-minute gang” responsible for a spate of burglaries in upmarket suburbs may have tried to deceive the magistrate’s court into believing he has not been issued with a valid passport is being investigated by the state.

Magistrate Sello Maboee who is presiding over a bail application by two of the accused, Jabulani Radebe (35) and Ntokozo Majola (32), both of kwaMashu, on Friday agreed to postpone the hearing.

The postponement will enable police to investigate the situation.

State advocate Attie Truter said the prosecution needs to determine which version is factural: the police version that Majola has been issued with a passport which has not been collected yet from Home Affairs and has been archived; or the defence submission that Majola never applied for or was issued with the alleged passport.

The question was raised when the defence handed in a letter purporting to be from Home Affairs that certifies that Majola has “never been issued with a South African passport”.

The defence also produced a temporary passport in Majola’s name that expired on August 5, 2006.

Defence advocate Jimmy Howse submitted that it was a “waste of time” to further delay the bail hearing to determine the issue since on both versions it appeared to be “common cause” that Majola is not in possession of a valid passport. He said if Majola is given bail, the court could make an order barring him from collecting any passport, if indeed one has been issued. He also submitted that Majola has been granted bail in other matters and has not “jumped on a plane” to avoid justice.

Maboee ruled that the state has not caused any delay in the finalisation of the bail hearing to date and said it should have the opportunity to present evidence on the matter.

The hearing was postponed until August 11.

Majola and Radebe are charged along with Sibongiseni Zwane (31) and Mdeni Vilakazi (25) of housebreaking and theft of jewellery worth R45 000 at the Kelly Place, Montrose, home of advocate S. Moodley, and attempted housebreaking at the home of Dr M. Howard in Valbridge Road, Chase Valley, on May 31.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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