Long wait for justice continues

2019-04-04 06:00
Phumza Pita’s uncle John Sautana(sitting) looking at the documents while Pita’s cousin Wendy Nyama looks on.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Phumza Pita’s uncle John Sautana(sitting) looking at the documents while Pita’s cousin Wendy Nyama looks on.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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The Sawutana family says they are still waiting to see justice served more than two years after their daughter Phumla Pita was allegedly gunned down by the police at their New Crossroads home.

The 31-year-old was allegedly shot by the police in March 2017 when she questioned their conduct while closing down the family’s shebeen at Koornof Street.

After more than two years, a case for the accused was delayed further when he apparently failed to appear at the Athlone Magistrates’ Court.

Uncle of the deceased John Sautana said he was flabbergasted by the conduct of the accused. “When the magistrate called him to the dock he didn’t appear. And we (family) were all shocked because we saw him on our arrival inside the court,” he said.

Sawutana said he went to the prosecutor to find out about the accused’s whereabouts and the prosecutor told him that he wasn’t there.

“The prosecutor told me that the alleged killer was not in court and his name doesn’t appear on the listed names of people that were going to appear in court. And his summons was not yet finalised,” said Sawutana, showing City Vision a letter with Wednesday’s court date.

He said the family had lost hope in the justice system.

He said they failed to understand why the accused was not arrested.

Pita’s cousin Wendy Nyama said she wants the law to take its course. She said Pita was a breadwinner for her family and now her three children are now staying with their grand-grandmother.

“Pita’s family is struggling. Her children were left with their grand-grandmother and no one is working,” she said.

Nyama claimed the accused was transferred from Gugulethu Police Station to Lingelethu Police Station in Khayelitsha after the incident. “I do not trust the police at all. Instead of arresting him they chose to transfer him to another station,” said Nyama.

Moses Dlamini, national spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) stated that police had nothing to do with the issuing of a summons. He said that it can only be issued by the court.

However, he said the case had been transferred from the Athlone Magistrates’ Court to the Regional Court in Wynberg.

Gugulethu police station commander Brigadier Luyanda Damoyi said the transfer of the accused to Lingelethu was sanctioned by police management.

“The reason for transferring him was to avoid him to interfere with the investigation while he is at the station because his case is still under investigation,” said Damoyi.

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