‘King of Bling’ to stay in prison

2009-08-20 15:16

HEAVILY armed police officers have barred reporters from gaining access to court where William “King of Bling” Mbatha has appeared.

Superintendent Chris Du Plessis told reporters that the magistrate had issued an instruction barring the press from going inside to cover the case.

Du Plessis said during a previous appearance last week, photographers were disruptive inside the court and a scuffle almost broke out between a police officer guarding the main entrance and two reporters who had gained access using another entrance.

All media was then barred from covering subsequent appearances.

However, after consultations with the new magistrate handling the case, Isabella Mlaba, the press was allowed back in.

A relaxed and smiling Mbatha, dressed in a cream coloured jersey and khaki pants made his way to the stand.

He was arrested last week and is facing a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

He is also facing charges in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, ranging from armed robbery, theft, housebreaking to tax evasion.

Prosecutor Alden Noble asked the magistrate to postpone the case because an identity parade that was to be done yesterday had not been done.

The matter was postponed to August 26 for a formal bail application. The identity parade is expected to take place on August 25.

Mbatha was remanded back into custody and will be moved from Johannesburg to Boksburg prison.

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