Court orders documents handed to Mchunu accused

2019-05-01 06:00

A MAGISTRATE on Monday ordered the state to provide a Msunduzi councillor and his alleged accomplices with statements implicating them in the murder of an ANC activist.

Nkosinathi “TK” Gambu, Gift Zungu, Nkanyiso Zimu, Sifiso Mbele, Mlungisi Zimu and Ayanda Ngubane were arrested last year for the murder of Musa­wenkosi “Maqatha” Mchunu. They were denied bail twice and the state indicated previously that the case was ready for trial.

During the Easter weekend, the alleged triggerman, Joseph Makhanya, was arrested and his bail application has been set down for Thursday.

The state intends to combine the cases because all the men are charged with the same murder, but can’t do so until Makhanya’s bail application is over.

Yesterday, advocate TK Nene, for Gambu and the five men, complained that the state had not provided him with the statements in the police docket. The prosecutor, Renee Padayachee, said if she does, it would jeopardise the bail application of the shooter.

Magistrate M. Cannon said the men were arrested in September and the case has now been transferred to the regional court for trial. On April 17, the case was adjourned for copies of these statements to be provided to the defence. Cannon said the prosecutor maintains it is not in the interests of justice for the statements to be provided, while Nene argued that his clients have a right to a speedy trial.

Cannon said that when the matter was transferred to his court, it must have been under the understanding that it was ready for trial and so the documents have to be supplied. The case then stood down for dates to be arranged.

While Gambu was chatting to his attorney, a police officer ushered him and the other men along and Gambu became angry, demanding to know why he was being denied his rights to speak to his attorney.

Eventually, he and the others calmed down and were taken to the cells.

When court resumed, there were no problems.

The matter has now been adjourned to May 10.

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