Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Milton Morema, the mayor of Bushbuckridge, has triumphed again after the Pretoria high court yesterday ruled that he should not be re-arrested for murder.

The court ruled that a temporary order prohibiting the police from re-arresting Morema, Luckios Mosoma and Erasmus Makhubela be made a final order of court, and that the state must bear the costs.

His murder case was initially struck off the roll in May.

Morema's defence made an application before Judge CJ Claassen, arguing that it was not necessary to arrest the three after the matter was struck off the roll.

"The applicants have given an undertaking pertaining to the outcome of the trial that they will not intimidate witnesses or interfere with the investigation or process of this case," reads the high court order.

The lawyer for the three, Mpho Mashiloane, said this was a triumph because the police had been permanently barred from making an arrest regarding this matter.

"We said in our papers that my clients were prepared to go to court. We are opposed to the arrest because it was illegal as the matter had been struck off the roll," Mashiloane said yesterday.

The court order also said "that the rule nisi is confirmed".

Mashiloane told Sowetan that this meant the temporary court order that was in place before yesterday was now a final order of court.

"If the police want to reinstate the charges they should act according to the law by serving us with summonses instead of harassing my clients by arresting them," said Mashiloane.

The police said they accepted and respected the court's decision.

"We respect the decision by the high court," said police spokesman Captain Leonard Hlathi.

Morema said Judge Claassen's decision was not different from that of magistrate George Risimati, who dismissed the case on May 27.

"I challenge the police to prove that the case was not a political plot," said Morema.

Morema, Mosoma and Makhubela were arrested in April 2003 for the alleged murder of Jeffrey Sedibe, a hitman hired to kill Motion Mashile.