'We want lawyers who know our ways'

Two men accused of murder refused to continue taking part in their trial in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday.

Two men accused of murder refused to continue taking part in their trial in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday.

They said they wanted to appoint their own lawyers and released advocates appointed for them by the Legal Aid Board.

Ntokozo Ngcobo, 28, allegedly shot dead his father, Muziwendoda Ngcobo, at the family home near Camperdown in 2006.

He and co-accused Simanga Sibiya, 29, are also accused of killing the father's common-law wife, Cecisile Zondi.

Both have pleaded not guilty. They told the court they wanted lawyers who knew their "ways".

Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner ruled their conduct was a delaying tactic and said that the trial would go ahead - with or without them in court.

She criticised them for behaving contemptuously and warned that they could be convicted of contempt of court.

The accused withdrew to the cells and the prosecutor continued to lead evidence without them.

The judge said a judicial officer had the discretion to order that the case proceed without the accused in court in terms of Section 159 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

A young child testified that Ngcobo pushed his father against a wall and shot him several times.

The trial continues. - Sapa

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