Trial moved to Mafikeng high court
The murder trial of Skielik teenager Johan Nel will be heard in the Mmabatho high court in Mafikeng in November.
Nel, 18, appeared briefly in the Swartruggens magistrate's court yesterday where the 17 charges, against him were read to him.
These include four of murder, 10 of attempted murder, one of possessing a firearm without a licence, possession of ammunition and malicious damage to property.
Dressed in a cream jacket, the teenager kept turning his head to look at the gallery in a courtroom packed with the families and friends of the four people, including a two-month-old baby, he allegedly gunned down in the Skielik informal settlement early this year.
In January Nel allegedly took a rifle belonging to his father, went to a nearby informal settlement and fired randomly, killing four people and injuring 10.
Civil rights organisation
Afriforum, who attended the court case to monitor "hate speech", welcomed the decision to move the trial to the high court.
Afriforum's Nantes Kelder said the ANC alliance's polarising conduct during court proceedings had had a negative effect on the local community.
"It is high time that the trial is continued elsewhere in order for relationships in Swartruggens to return to normal," Kelder said.
Alex Ndlovu, 75, one of the people who survived the shooting, said he could not afford to attend the trial in Mafikeng "but I hope the police will give me a lift".