Mystery over missing murder case, suspect
"My daughter will be turning in her grave because of the failure by the State to bring her killer to justice" - Dad
A MAN accused of setting his wife alight two years ago failed to appear in court yesterday, leaving the family feeling that justice had not been done.
There was confusion when it emerged that the matter would be heard in the Delmas High Court and not the Johannesburg High Court as earlier decided.
Delmas is about 100km from Johannesburg, and the case was not on their roll either.
The family of Annie Phungula said they were disappointed when the case did not move forward.
"We are now angry. We travelled all the way to Delmas and waited the whole day without the case starting. No one told us what was happening," said David Molefe, Annie's father.
Delmas court officials could not explain why the case was not on their roll.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), police and court officials could not say why Sydney Basi Phungula, 38, did not appear.
"My daughter will be turning in her grave because of the failure by the State to bring her killer to justice," said Molefe.
NPA spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga also could not solve the riddle as to why the case had been moved, why the family was not informed and why Sydney did not appear.
In December last year, Mhaga said Sydney had been served with an indictment and that his trial had been set for four days, from May 21 to 25 in Johannesburg.
But when informed that Sydney was not in court yesterday, and that authorities there said they did not know anything about his case, Mhaga said he would investigate.
He later did not answer Sowetan calls or messages.
Even an investigating officer in the matter, Warrant Officer Twala, said he did not know why the case did not take place.
"No one told me anything and I am shocked that it is not being heard today," said Twala.
Annie's mother, Christina Molefe, said: "We have lost hope that justice will ever prevail in this case ... How long will it take for this case to be closed?," she asked.
In September last year an outcry erupted at the Brakpan Magistrate's Court when it was decided to set Sydney, a teacher at Funukukhanya Primary School in Tsakane, free due to a lack of evidence.
Charges including murder, attempted murder and arson against Sydney were only reinstated after Sowetan reported about it.