Shape up, court is told

Dan Fuphe

Dan Fuphe

Springs regional court magistrate Betty Lesufi saw red when the prosecutor in a rape and murder case said he did not have the docket.

This was after she had adjourned the court five times to wait for one of the accused to arrive from Heidelberg prison, where he is being held.

Lesufi is presiding in the trial of five men accused of gang-raping and brutally slaying former Banyana Banyana soccer player Eudy Simelane in an apparent hate crime.

The adjournment was caused by the delay in the arrival in court of Thato Mphiti, 22, who is being tried separately from other four accused.

The others are Khumbulani Magagula, 22, Johannes Mahlangu, 18, Themba Mvubu, 24, and Tshepo Pitsha, 24. All have been refused bail.

Magistrate Lesufi became angry when prosecutor Eddy Maloba said he was still waiting for the case docket to arrive from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Pretoria.

On June 26 Lesufi was also unhappy when the state failed to produce DNA results and a photo album of Simelane. She pleaded with the prosecutor to comply. Yesterday, before postponing the case to September 1, Lesufi told the state to put its house in order.

"I expect that date to be before the court at the next hearing," she said.

The trial is expected to be relocated to the Pretoria high court or Delmas circuit court.