Riot Hlatshwayo and Frank Maponya
Milton Morema, the executive mayor of Bushbuckridge, is off the hook, at least for now, on the murder charges that he and two others were expected to face in the Polokwane regional court in Limpopo yesterday.
Advocate Herman Barnaardt and Mpho Mashiloane of the defence team successfully filed an urgent application before Judge Raulinga in the Pretoria high court that Morema and his co-accused should not be re-arrested yet.
The interim court order, of which Sowetan has a copy, called on the Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Nqakula, and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Transvaal Division to show cause on or before July 31 as to why the order should not be made an order of court.
Mashiloane told Sowetan that the police had obtained a warrant to arrest the three illegally.
"We believe there is something sinister going on and that there is an ulterior motive," said Mashiloane.
"This [interdict] justifies the executive mayor's opinion that the case against him is based on a political conspiracy," he added.
Mashiloane said the defence would be happy if the matter was taken straight to trial to prevent further delays because that was "tantamount to justice denied".
Morema, Lukios Mosoma and Erasmus Makhubele were expected to appear in the Polokwane regional court yesterday after the police obtained a warrant of arrest against them following the DPP's instructions that the matter be reinstated.
It was only after midday that it emerged that the defence team was seeking an interdict in the Pretoria high court.
Morema, Lakios Mosoma and Erasmus Makhubele were arrested in April following allegations that they killed Jeffrey Sedibe and Motion Mashile about five years ago. They allegedly hired Sedibe to kill Mashile .
Sedibe had allegedly been promised R17000 to carry out the hit but allegedly disappeared after he tried to get payment.