Tembisa cops' murder case postponed

2015-09-10 13:17
(Naledi Shange, News24)

(Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg - Nine of the 10 Tembisa police officers who have been charged with the murder of Khuthazile Mbedu on Thursday, decided to drop their lawyer appointed by the Office of the State Attorney.

The State attorney's office handles criminal and civil litigation cases instituted against State officials, who are alleged to have committed illegal acts while executing their duties.

The nine officers have since appointed private attorney, Riaan Louw as their lawyer.   

The 10th police officer implicated in the incident, Stanford Mokobodi, had previously appointed a private lawyer and would proceed with the same lawyer. 

The case against the group was once again heard in a packed courtroom, was promptly postponed to September 29 for Louw to obtain the contents of the police docket. 

The officers were arrested on August 27 following a probe into the death of Mbedu, who died last December after allegedly being assaulted and shocked with a stun gun. One of his legs was broken during the incident.

It was revealed during the officers' bail application that Mbedu had been arrested after police responded to a call for back-up from a tracking company which was in pursuit of an allegedly stolen car.

Through affidavits, the officers told the court they intended to plead not guilty to the murder charge.

Nine of the policemen stated that Mbedu was uninjured and alive when he was handed to Mokobodi at the Ivory Park police station after his arrest.

Mbedu was, however, admitted to hospital where he died a few days later. The 10 officers are out on R2 000 bail each.

On Tuesday, they stumbled into the court as they put jackets over their heads, trying to conceal their faces from the media. 

During their last appearance, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said it was confident that it would secure a conviction against them.

"I know... it is painful for [Mbedu's] family members now that they have received bail and they are not happy about that, but let us wait for the processes. We have evidence. We have witnesses and at the end of the day, justice will be served," IPID's Grace Langa said at the time.

While it was unclear what evidence was to be presented, more than 10 witnesses were expected to be called once the trial started.

When the officers received bail, national police spokesperson Solomon Makgale told News24 that they had all been suspended from duty.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  police

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