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Mayor's trial date confuses everyone

By unknown | Mar 17, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

There was confusion at the Nelspruit circuit of the Pretoria high Court yesterday.

A large contingent of police from the Public Order Policing Section and a large crowd had to go on a wild goose chase to attend the high-profile murder case involving Bushbuckridge's mayor, Milton Morema.

Police, the media and members of the community were under the impression that the mayor and two other accused were due to appear before the court yesterday.

It was shortly after midday that it transpired that the three were actually going to appear before the same court "between Wednesday and Friday".

Mpumalanga's organised crime unit spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi later told Sowetan: "We had been informed that the trial was due to start today [yesterday] but we have since established that the date was not properly communicated to us."

Asked why members of the police arrived in a large number for the case, Hlathi said: "It is normal for us to attend in large numbers during cases of this nature because in most cases one finds that members of the community supporting the victim or the accused also come in large numbers.

"Should anything happen that would need our attention we would be on the spot," Hlathi said.

The lawyer for the three accused, Mpho Mahiloane, confirmed that his clients were expected to appear from Wednesday to Friday for trial.

"I don't know how it happened the police never knew of the date, but I can confirm the trial starts on Wednesday," said Mashiloane.

Morema, Luckios Mosoma and Erasmus Makhubele were arrested on April 10 last year, charged with the murder of Jeffrey Sedibe in 2003.

It is alleged that Sedibe was a hitman who had allegedly been hired to kill Motion Mashile, a teacher who police claim had political differences with the mayor.

The matter was earlier struck off the roll after a magistrate said that the arrests were politically motivated.


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