The policeman accused of being a kingpin in the Glebelands hostel murders and one of his co-accused have been given a final warning to raise funds to pay for the services of their new advocate.
Judge Jerome Mnguni warned Detective Sergeant Bhekukwazi Louis Mdweshu and Ncomekile Matlala Ntshangase that Wednesday's postponement was a "final adjournment" for the purpose of letting them sort out financial issues with their legal representative.
Their new lawyer Martin Krog confirmed in court that he would now be representing the two accused following confusion on Monday over who would represent them.
Mdweshu and Matlala are part of the "Glebelands Eight", accused of a string of murders at the hostel from 2014 to 2016.
Their co-accused are Khayelihle Mbuthuma, Vukani Mcombothi, Eugene Wonderboy Hlophe, Mbuyiselwa Mahliphiza Mkhize, Mondli Talente Mthethwa and Bongani Mbhele.
Legal aid lawyer
Attorney Andile Dakela told the court on Monday that Mdweshu, Matlala and Hlophe could not afford to pay another advocate he had instructed.
Dakela was on Wednesday granted leave to withdraw from representing the three men.
Hlophe told the court he would now apply for a legal aid lawyer.
The five other accused are represented by Xolani Sindane.
The eight alleged hitmen are accused of the murders of Thulani Kati, Sipho Ndovela, Siniko Ncayiyana, Themba Pina, Nkosinathi Ndovela, William Mthembu, Thokozani Machi, Lucky Mtwa and Thokozani Machi.
They are also accused of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and extortion and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Security was beefed up, with heavily armed policemen inside and outside court when they appeared.
Last year, while they were still applying for bail in the Durban Regional Court, the court heard that all the accused had allegedly conspired to form an association that controlled money collected at the hostel.
It is alleged that, from time to time, they would summon residents to meetings where they would collect money.
They allegedly carried rifles and handguns during those meetings.
Mdweshu allegedly managed the "enterprise", the court heard.
Mnguni adjourned the matter to March 29.
KwaZulu-Natal police have confirmed that two more men were killed at the notorious hostel just this past week.
Another man was killed earlier this month on January 18.
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