Soweto murder trial of student cop postponed
THE case against a student policeman who allegedly shot dead a Soweto teenager earlier this year was yesterday postponed to Thursday.
Judge Kathy Satchwell said the case was postponed because of her workload.
Sipho Mbatha is accused of murdering 16-year-old Thato Godfrey Mokoka in Dobsonville, Soweto, in February.
"I see there are a lot of people in the court today, but I have three trials on the [court] roll today," the judge said.
"Therefore I will not be able to hear all of them.
"Mister Mbatha, the case has now been postponed to Thursday July 26 for the availability of the court.
"I might be here or another judge might be here," Satchwell said.
Mbatha, who appeared in the Johannesburg High Court, is out on R5000 bail.
Mbatha and his colleagues allegedly went to a house belonging to Thato's grandmother, Sybil Mokoka, on Valentine's Day this year.
Thato was suspected of being in possession of an illegal firearm.
Thato was reportedly ordered to lie on his stomach and Mbatha, who was allegedly armed with an R5 rifle, restrained him while his colleagues searched the house.
Mbatha then "fired several shots at the deceased with his R5 assault rifle", read the indictment.
Thato died at the scene.
In his affidavit, Mbatha said: "I conducted a body search on him [Thato] and it was at that time that he was fatally shot."
Mbatha has been described as "unstable" and reportedly tried twice to commit suicide, although these claims have never been substantiated. - firstname.lastname@example.org