'Matwetwe' actor Sibusiso Khwinana's murder trial to start on Friday

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Sibusiso Khwinana. (Image via Twitter)
Sibusiso Khwinana. (Image via Twitter)

Nearly a year after Matwetwe actor Sibusiso Khwinana was murdered, his alleged murderer will finally stand trial.

It is expected to start in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Julius Lucas, 35, who is accused of stabbing Khwinana in March 2019 during a robbery at Sterland Mall in the capital city, appeared briefly in court on Wednesday.

The case was postponed to Friday to allow the court to obtain a Swahili interpreter for the accused. 

READ | Man accused of killing Matwetwe actor gives police the runaround, court hears

The start of the trial was previously delayed as issues arose around Lucas' legal representation. He previously made use of a private lawyer, but after the case was transferred to the high court for trial, it was revealed that he would have to apply for legal aid.

Khwinana's father, Nelson, said they accepted the postponement, but wanted the trial to get underway as soon as possible.

He told journalists they wanted justice and will accept nothing less than a life sentence.

Tebatso Mashishi, Kwinana's Matwetwe co-star, who was also at court on Wednesday, was still struggling to come to terms with his friend's death.

READ MORE | Condolences pour in for murdered 'Matwetwe' actor

"Tebatso is not coping well since they were together when it happened and he carried him till the paramedics arrived," Khwinana's father said.

"His takkies were soaked in Sibusiso's blood. I have been trying to console him."

Khwinana, 25, was stabbed in March 2019 during a robbery at Sterland Mall in Arcadia, Pretoria, where he attended a screening of Matwetwe, the locally-produced movie he starred in.

According to police, Khwinana and a friend were on the corner of Pretorius Street and Steve Biko Road in Pretoria when Lucas allegedly accosted him and demanded his cellphone.

Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said at the time it was alleged that Lucas stabbed Khwinana during a tussle over the actor's cellphone.

"The deceased was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object in the upper body. He was certified dead on the scene," Masondo said.

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