Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

The Jeppestown massacre trial has been put on hold for the second day running after one of the 13 accused had to be taken to hospital.

Accused number five, Khumbulani Mabaso, 33, on Tuesday complained of feeling sick. The court was adjourned and yesterday the trial could not continue because he was in hospital.

The trial is expected to end on March 31, but there have been several delays. Eleven of the accused claimed they were being denied food by prison officials and a trial-within-a-trial had to be held to settle the matter.

Defence lawyers asked for Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng to recuse himself, claiming he was biased. He remains on the bench after a week of argument between him and the defense. Then an advocate for the defence, Sibusiso Mbatha, fell down the stairs and the trial was put on hold for three days. Last Wednesday, Mabaso's advocate, Oscar Ncoko, failed to attend court .

Mabaso and 10 co-accused allegedly robbed a Pick 'n Pay supermarket in June 2006 before engaging in a shootout with police in Jeppestown. Four policemen and eight robbers died.

Mary Maleke and her ex-boyfriend Senzo Mweli are alleged to be the masterminds behind the robbery.