Massacre trial postponed as advocate collapses

DEFENCE: Mlungisi Buthelezi. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 26/10/2008. © Sowetan
DEFENCE: Mlungisi Buthelezi. Pic. Vathiswa Ruselo. 26/10/2008. © Sowetan

Dudu Busani

Dudu Busani

Judgment in the Jeppestown massacre trial had to be postponed after a defence advocate collapsed in the Johannesburg high court on Friday.

Mlungisi Buthelezi was taken to hospital. It was not clear what had caused his collapse.

The incident took place after presiding Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng accepted statements of three of the accused, including Buthelezi's client, Siyanda Mngomezulu, 23, as admissible evidence. Mngomezulu had made the statement to the police soon after he was arrested.

Mokgoatlheng also accepted statements from accused number one, Mary Maleke, the alleged mastermind of the crime and that of her ex-boyfriend Senzo Mweli.

The former couple had tried in vain to have their confessions thrown out of court in a trial within a trial.

Maleke, a former Pick n Pay employee, allegedly conspired with Mweli in planning the robbery. Mweli allegedly deployed their eleven co-accused - Nkosinathi Mchunu, 31, Sizwe Mbuyazi, 25, Khumbulani Mabaso, 33, Sizwe Dlamini, 21, Sihle Mdunge, 25, Muzulelwa Vezi, 28, Siyanda Mngomezulu, 23, Linda Hlongwa, 22, Bekokwakhe Zulu, 28, Mkhonzeni Sesiba, 29, and Zinto Mqunu, 27 - to carry out the crime.

The judgment was expected to take five days but it could be another week before the judge pronounces his verdict.

X