- The court has denied an application for charges to be withdrawn against the husband who allegedly ordered a hit on his wife.
- The defence submitted the delays by the State was detriment to the promotion of justice.
- Magistrate Prakash Maharaj said the deputy public prosecutor has put in place checks and balances on the case.
Another legal application to have murder charges withdrawn against a husband who allegedly ordered a hit on his wife and her business partner was denied in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court in Limpopo on Monday.
The husband Thabo Stanley Leshabane, 57, stands accused of being the mastermind behind the killing of his wife Makoena Mabusela-Leshabane, 46, and her partner Tebogo Mphuti, 35, who were shot dead after viewing a business premise in Polokwane on 10 October 2020.
Leshabane was arrested together with four other men believed to be the alleged hitmen - Ndondo Buthelezi, 25, John Zulu, 30, Bhekimuzi Phiyose, 34, and Thembelani Dlamini, 30.
Defence attorneys for Leshabane and his four co-accused argued that the State had delayed the matter, leading to the material prejudice of the accused.
They argued that the matter has attracted a lot of public interest and further delays do not promote the interest of justice.
This was after the State asked for yet another postponement to deal with outstanding issues in relation to the police investigation.
The State pointed out the deputy public prosecutor also needed to be satisfied on whether the case should be referred to the Regional or High Court for trial.
Magistrate Prakash Maharaj said he was satisfied that the deputy public prosecutor has put in place the checks and balances on the docket given the nature of the offence.
"It can't be said there's an unreasonable delay by the State in the case. There is a systematic delay that is completely out of their control," Maharaj said.
He directed that the investigating officer attend to outstanding issues, "... as soon as possible", and report to his branch commander and the deputy public prosecutor.
The accused, who have since all been denied bail, will appear again on 12 July 2021.
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