Village to sue police for wild goose chase
A community in Limpopo was yesterday sent on a wild goose chase when they travelled almost 20km to attend a court hearing, only to discover that the case was being heard back home.
The community of Majozi village, near Giyani, yesterday travelled to Polokwane to attend the trial of a man who allegedly murdered Khumbuya Jerry Chauke, 51, in Majozi three months ago.
But when they arrived in Polokwane they were told that the suspect was appearing in the Hlanganani magistrates' court.
Chauke's family had hired two buses to ferry villagers who wanted to support them in their bid to oppose the granting of bail to the suspect at his appearance in what they believed was the Polokwane magistrates' court.
Chauke was gunned down execution-style at his home in Majozi on August 13. Fourteen spent cartridges were found on the scene of the crime.
Chauke was a prominent local businessman who owned several shops in the village, and the community relied on him for financial support.
Since his murder, police made little progress on the case until a task team from Polokwane made a breakthrough and arrested a suspect on Tuesday.
Shortly after the arrest, police allegedly informed the Majozi community that the suspect would appear in the Polokwane magistrates' court yesterday, prompting the family to spend a large amount of money to hire the buses.
Family spokesman Elias Chauke, who is also the deceased's younger brother, told Sowetan yesterday that they were disturbed about the wrong information allegedly supplied to them by the police. He said they intended suing the SAPS for their expenses.
"We have spent a lot of money to hire the buses, only to be sent on a wild goose chase. This is not fair," Chauke fumed.
"My brother died a gruesome death and everyone wants to know where the case ends. But it seems the police want to hide the suspect from us," he said.
Another villager, Eddie Shilenge, 30, said they wanted to hand over a memorandum to the magistrate to oppose bail for the suspect.
Senior Superintendent Motlafela Mojapelo of the Limpopo police said the suspect, identified as Robert Chauke, 41, was refused bail and had his case was remanded to November 30.