Three in court for N3 cop killings

2015-04-14 18:15
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A third man arrested in connection with the shooting of three police officers on the N3 highway appeared alongside his co-accused in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

According to the charge sheet, Nhlanhleni Nzama was arrested in KwaZulu-Natal last week for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. This charge was not connected to the N3 shooting.

He appeared in court with co-accused Vika Nzama and Sandile Nyathekazi.

He and his co-accused faced two counts of murder, a single one of attempted murder and one of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

A charge sheet compiled last week showed that Vika Nzama and Nyathekazi also faced a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery.

It was unclear whether Nhlanhleni Nzama would also face that charge.

The group was alleged to have been part of a four-man gang which opened fire on three police officers patrolling the N3 highway last month.

The officers had stopped their vehicle close to the Modderfontein off-ramp.

Two of the officers, Constable Mthokoziseni Myeza and Maisha Mafokoane, were killed in the incident.

A third officer, Steven Mafanelo, was injured.

He was believed to have shot one of the gang members. The man, a Zimbabwean national, died after several days in hospital.

While it was unclear whether the two Nzama men were related, they had appointed the same private lawyer to represent them. Nyathekazi had his own lawyer.

When Vika Nzama and Sandile Nyathekazi first appeared before the court last week, their matter was postponed for an identity parade.

The two went for an ID parade last week and Nhlanhleni Nzama went on an ID parade on Monday.

Prosecutor Richard Mashobane indicated that the state was awaiting one more witness to participate in the ID parade.

The witness was out of the country and was expected back on April 24.

Magistrate Pieter du Plessis agreed that it was in the interest of justice for the men to be kept behind bars until the ID parade was finalised. 

Mashobane then told the court of the logistical woes faced by the investigating officer in the matter.

He explained that Nhlanhleni Nzama needed to be sent back to KZN, where he was initially arrested, as he needed to appear before the Kranskop Magistrate's Court in a separate case. 

Du Plessis said the police officers should make necessary arrangements to either have Nzama sent to Kranskop or have the matter postponed in his absentia.

Mashobane told the court that the State's case had several holes in it because they were missing some evidence, including the cellphone records of the accused.

Du Plessis argued that the accused should not be kept behind bars simply because the investigations were continuing.

He postponed the matter to April 28 when the three were expected to apply for bail.

In the interim, they would be kept in the holding cells of the Germiston police station.

The court gallery was packed to capacity ahead of the appearance of the accused.

On several occasions, Du Plessis threw out people who had not found space in the gallery benches.

He said it was a security risk for them to be lining the court aisles.

As soon as the proceedings adjourned, the court gallery was left almost empty.

It was unclear whether those who had attended the proceedings were related to the slain policemen or the accused.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Land reform model fizzles

12 minutes ago

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.