The trial of the three men accused of murdering former ANC Youth League secretary Sindiso Magaqa has been postponed to April 2020, after yet another delay in court in Scottburgh, KwaZulu-Natal on Monday – nearly three years after his death.
Judge Mohini Moodley was scathing in her criticism of defence lawyer Carl van der Merwe, who failed to appear in court.
Moodley called for Van der Merwe to explain why he had not attended proceedings.
"I am extremely irate because there is no representation for the accused. It is discourteous to the court that no one is here," she said.
Outside court Magaqa's brother, Lwazi, said he was disappointed with the delay.
"We were hoping that the matter would have started today. This disturbs the family and the community."
He said the family did not believe the mastermind behind the murder had been arrested.
"We are still in need to get the mastermind of this. Just because these people were sent, does not mean they are."
Magaqa survived an ambush after being shot on July 13, 2017, but died in September of the same year as a result of his injuries. He was 35.
News24 reported that the trial of the men accused of the attack was expected to start on October 14, and is set to continue until November 8.
Magaqa had been in politics from a young age, serving the ANC Youth League in many capacities, including chairperson of the party's Harry Gwala branch and deputy provincial chairperson of the league.
He was among a group of ANC leaders who faced disciplinary action in 2012. They included current EFF leader Julius Malema, his deputy Floyd Shivambu, and current ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe.
At the time of his death, he was a ward councillor in the area. Former police officer Sibonelo Myeza, businessman Mbulelo Mpofana and Mxolisi Ncalane face murder and attempted murder charges.
Harry Gwala District Municipality Mayor Mluleki Ndobe and Umzimkhulu municipal manager Zweliphansi Skhosana previously had charges against them in the matter provisionally withdrawn, due to insufficient evidence.
Umzimkhulu councillors Nonsikelelo Mafa and Jabu Mzizi-Msiya were also wounded on the day of Magaqa's shooting.