- The case of 14 people accused of killing eight men in an alleged mob justice attack in Zandspruit has been postponed to next year.
- The case will be heard in the Gauteng High Court on Johannesburg.
- Three of the accused are expected to lodge a bail application on the basis of new facts.
The case of 14 people accused of murdering eight men in a mob justice attack in Zandspruit earlier this year, has been transferred to the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
Magistrate Delise Smith transferred the matter to that court from the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court.
Smith warned the accused that they could be sentenced to life imprisonment if the High Court convicted them.
"Let me warn you that you could be facing sentences of life for each count of murder should the High Court find you guilty. You could also be sentenced to five for each count of kidnapping. For other counts, the High Court will decide an appropriate sentence to impose if you are found guilty of the charges you are facing.
"Those of you who have witnesses, you must bring that to the attention of the judge. Those who don't have witnesses, you have enough time to think about it," Smith said.
Tebogo Mabula, Mziwamangwane Witbooi, Njabulo Zwane, Phakiswa Tsengiswa, Maxwell Mpofu, Klaas Masemola, Joshua Mabodze, Alfred Mollo, Everyone Moyo, Phillemon Seemela, Douglas Tshuma, Charles Ramashia, Phiwe Khubeka and Peter Mufamadi briefly appeared before Smith on Thursday. Tsengiswa is the only woman among the accused.
Each of the accused face eight counts of murder, eight counts of kidnapping, two counts of attempted murder and a charge of housebreaking with intent to commit murder and theft.
They were provided with copies of the indictment.
Smith also ordered that Mabula, Witbooi, Zwane, Moyo, and Mufamadi should be transferred from Krugersdorp to join Masemola, Mabodze, Mollo, Tshuma, Seemela and Ramashia in Johannesburg Prison.
Witbooi, Zwane, Moyo, Tshuma and Mufamadi applied for Legal Aid representation.
The rest will be represented by private lawyers.
The court extended the bail of Tsengiswa, Seemela and Khubeka and the lawyer representing Masemola, Mollo and Mabula told Smith that he would lodge a second bail application on behalf of his clients. The lawyer, Martin Gede, said he obtained new facts which he intended to use during the bail application.
#ZandspruitMobJustice: Fourteen suspects awaiting their bail judgement in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court. The group is accused of killing 8 young men in Zandspruit in May this year. One person survived the ordeal @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/dtNSAhCTYA— ntwaagae Seleka (@ntwaagae) September 14, 2021
The State alleges that the accused were part of an angry mob of people who kidnapped nine young men from their homes between 18 and 19 May, this year.
The men were severely assaulted and frog marched, with their hands bound behind their backs, to dusty soccer field, where they were beaten. They were later doused with paraffin and set alight.
Onlookers cheered but the families of the victims pleaded for the young men to be handed over to the police.
The victims were accused of terrorising Zandspruit residents.
Four of them died at the scene and another four succumbed to their injuries in hospital. One survived the ordeal
The case will be heard in the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on 28 January 2022.