Premier assassination plot accused seek aid

2010-05-27 00:00

SIZWE Mkhize, a prominent Durban businessman, and four others implicated in an alleged plot to kill KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize have been given a week to prepare for a formal bail application after they abandoned plans to conduct their own defence.

Mkhize appeared in the Pinetown Regional Court with Themba Xaba, Jackson Chili, Mlungisi Xulu and Sithembiso Mthembu on conspiracy to murder and possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition charges.

The five accused were arrested by Hillcrest police on April 22 in possession of an unlicensed firearm and 10 rounds of ammunition. The men were driving a black Yaris, believed to belong to the girlfriend of one of them.

Magistrate Chris Annamalai told the men that they face serious charges and if convicted, they could face lengthy jail sentences.

He asked the accused if they understood what the law term self-incrimination meant. None of the accused could explain what it meant.

Annamalai asked the accused how they would conduct their own bail application if they did not understand what the term meant.

Xulu said that he was deemed fit to conduct his own defence.

“It is not a wise decision to do it by yourself,” said Annamalai.

He then went on to explain that the evidence in the bail application could be used against the accused when the matter goes to trial.

After being given 10 minutes to reconsider, the five chose to apply for Legal Aid. The case was adjourned to June 2 for a formal bail application.

The accused have been remanded back into custody.

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