Trial of former AMCU members transferred to the North Gauteng High Court

2018-10-30 19:09
(Netwerk24)

(Netwerk24)

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The murder and attempted murder trial of eight Association of Mineworker and Construction Union (AMCU) leaders has been transferred to the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The men face charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

READ: R100K offered for info on AMCU murders

Trial to begin next year

When the accused appeared in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, Magistrate R Ramonetha told them that the trial would be transferred to the High Court and would be heard next year.

Ramonetha withdrew charges against Nkosinathi Mantashe, Sithembe Mtakane, Lungisa Madiba, Duke Mjakuca and Peterson Siyaya due to a lack of evidence against them.

The magistrate warned the remaining accused to prepare themselves before appearing in the High Court next year.

They are Samkelo Mkutshwa, Siphiwe Silwane, Zamelekhaya Mboxela, Zithole Mangqo, Bonile Cingo, Xolile Madikane, Mthethelethu Mtsukula and Siyanda Sinqina.

Seven of them are out on R2 000 bail each. Sinqina is expected to apply for bail on Wednesday.

The trial is expected to run from May 13 to May 31, 2019.

Members of the AMCU, who arrived in droves, filled the courtroom to capacity while others remained outside.

READ MORE: NUM member denies shooting AMCU member

It is alleged that the accused shot and wounded the union's newly elected chairperson at a Marikana branch, Malibongwe Mdazo, on July 22, 2017.

Mdazo was accosted while leaving a soccer stadium in Mooinooi, near Rustenburg and was shot multiple times.

Later in the day, Mveliso Biyela, who had been walking home with his wife and son in Wonderkop near Marikana, was shot multiple times.

Biyela died on the scene.

The State alleges that the same weapon used to kill Biyela was used to shoot Mdazo.

Frustration by AMCU leadership  

The accused were allegedly frustrated because concerns that they wanted to raise with the union were not being entertained to their satisfaction.

They resorted to closing AMCU offices in the hope of securing an audience with the president of the union, Joseph Mathunjwa.

Instead, their union memberships were terminated and their positions were filled by others – among them Mdazo and Biyela.

They allegedly conspired to kill the two men, hatching plans in the Eastern Cape.

Read more on:    amcu  |  mahikeng  |  crime  |  mining

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