Airport waste dumpers’ case postponed

2013-07-02 17:00

Nine men have appeared in the Bellville District Court for allegedly dumping human waste in the departures hall at the Cape Town International Airport.

A ruling on their bail applications will be made next Tuesday.

The men are charged under the Civil Aviation Act and face up to 30 years in prison if they are found guilty.

They are also likely to be charged with public violence, State advocate Greg Wolmarans told the court today.

The accused are Loyiso Nkohla, Andile Lili, Yanga Njingwana, Ben Dyani, Bantubakhe Mqobodiya, Wandisile Mkapa, Jaji Diniso, Bongile Zanazo, and Thembela Mabanjwa.

Dyani, Mqobodiya, Mkapa and Diniso are former employees of Sannicare, a sanitation company contracted by the city of Cape Town.

Nkohla, who is an ANC councillor, and Lili, who is a former councillor, were arrested while out on a warning for a similar offence.

The bail application was to have started on Thursday, but was rescheduled by the Western Cape High Court after an application was brought by defence counsel Thembalihle Sidaki.

Magistrate Jannie Kotze said he would make his ruling on bail on July 8, but Sidaki said a whole week was too long for the men to wait.

Kotze said it had been suggested in the high court proceedings that the previous postponement was irregular and malicious.

However, he presided in court all day and did not get the time during the day to work on judgments.

“I am not prepared to give judgment today, as there are several issues to be considered,” he said.

“It was previously alleged that I acted maliciously and irregularly, and this time I intend to deliver a proper judgment.”

Wolmarans told the court the country’s democracy provided adequate channels for people to voice their grievances.

People with grievances had the SA Human Rights Commission, NGOs, and the courts to seek some form of redress.

“No one who considers the channels inadequate, may take their grievances to the streets – that will cause a slippery slide into anarchy.”

Wolmarans said the accused wanted to be in the spotlight as much as possible.

He said they wanted to be set free only to continue their cycle, and that they considered the court a puppet with them pulling the strings.

The court was not a “revolving door, or an instrument to be manipulated”, he said.

The accused had yet to satisfy the court that their release on bail was in the interests of justice.

Sidaki countered that his clients were human beings, but were being treated as “things”.

He said all of them were part of a community, with full constitutional rights, “and should be treated as such”.

Meaningful dialogue was needed to address their grievances, and not their arrest for protesting legitimate grievances.

Sidaki said the State wanted the accused denied bail as a form of punishment.

“I ask the court not to fall into this trap,” he said.

The men will remain in custody until their next appearance.

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