‘Frozen head’ trial postponed for further investigation

2011-03-31 00:00

THE trial of wealthy Mafakathini inyanga Mduduzi Manqele (48) and Roger Thusi (31) of France location in connection with the murder of Loyiso Jokweni, whose head was discovered in a deep-freeze at Thusi’s residence earlier this year, was postponed yesterday to May 19 for further investigation.

The KwaZulu-Natal director of public prosecutions notified the court by letter that the two men are to be indicted to stand trial in the high court in connection with the case, once investigations have been completed.

The court was also shown a note from the South African Police Force forensic laboratory confirming receipt of blood and other samples for analysis, and stating the laboratory will require 120 days to finalise the tests.

Advocate Martin Krog for Manqele objected to the adjournment for further investigation and urged magistrate Bessie du Preez to intervene and cause the charges to be withdrawn against Manqele.

Krog said it was obvious from the evidence led at Manqele’s bail hearing that there was “absolutely no evidence” at all linking the traditional healer to Jokweni’s kidnapping and murder apart from a “purported confession” by Thusi, which he has since withdrawn.

Krog said the state is clearly proceeding with the charges against Manqele in the “hope” that it will obtain some evidence linking him at a future date.

He suggested that the charges ought to be dropped until the state has the evidence.

Du Preez said it is not up to the court at this stage to decide on the weakness or strength of the state’s case and granted the adjournment.

Manqele is on bail of R10 000. Thusi is in custody, having been denied bail.

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