Poo fighters' sentencing postponed

By Drum Digital
24 February 2015

Sentencing proceedings were postponed on Tuesday in the Bellville Regional Court for nine men who dumped human waste at Cape Town International Airport.

The men, out on R2000 bail each, appeared before Magistrate Nonkosi Saba, who warned them to appear again on April 16.

Their lawyers, Pearl Mathibela and Ntuthuko Msomi, said they agreed with prosecutor Natasha Moshodi that correctional supervision and probation reports were necessary to help the court determine appropriate sentences.

The correctional supervision report would indicate whether sentences would involve a short period of imprisonment followed by release into house arrest, or house arrest without imprisonment.

The probation reports would involve in-depth probes into the backgrounds of each of the nine men.

They are to be sentenced for violating the Civil Aviation Act after emptying containers containing human waste in the airport's departure hall on June 25, 2013.

Both State and defence agreed that the interests of justice required the court to consider both reports. They agreed that the lengthy postponement to mid-April was needed, as the officials involved had to interview each accused, and then submit individual reports.

A helicopter circled the court building for several hours as noisy supporters of the accused toyi-toyed in the street outside.

According to charge sheet the accused lived in Cape Town townships. These had portable toilets, but a dispute had arisen between the accused and other residents over the perceived neglect of sanitation in these areas.

This included the alleged infrequent and irregular removal of human waste, in accordance with procedures agreed to between the city and the service provider, the charge sheet said.

-SAPA

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