Public violence accused appear

2019-08-15 06:01

A case that involves 47 accused of public violence and theft was heard at the Strand Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday 14 August).

The group was arrested following the looting of liqour stores, foreign-owned shops and salons, leaving a trail of destruction, in Lwandle earlier this year.

The unrest in the area, which also resulted in all three schools in the area remaining closed for some days, started as a fight for nearby privately owned vacant land.

The court heard yesterday that three of the accused had the charges against them withdrawn. Two with warrants of arrest issued to them appeared before the court while another eight were absent.

The court heard that the two accused had warrants served after failing to appear on the previous date.

Magistrate Pearcey Botha, standing in for Magistrate Karen Scheepers, had some strong words for the men and women who packed the dock.

She said: “I want to warn all of you – the court will not hold an inquiry on the matter today, but it will not allow any of you to delay the case either, by being absent or arriving in court late. The court will have to withdraw the bail against you if you do not adhere to what I have said. It is not in the interest of justice to delay it and everybody deserves a speedy trial.”

Botha told the accused that as the resources of her court were limited and their case needed to be heard in it along with so many others, it did not help if some appeared in court as expected, while others didn’t.

She pointed out that they had the good fortune to enjoy their bail while others languishing in custody did not have this luxury.

Regarding the two accused for whom warrants of arrest had been issued, Botha issued them with indemnity forms which they have to carry with them at all times, as the state could not produce the warrants to the her on the day.

She postponed the case to 11 September for the regional court prosecutor’s decision and the tracing of the absconding accused.

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