Reitz four to face charges

THE prosecution in the case of the University of Free State Reitz four will proceed with the charges against the accused.

Yesterday, prosecutor Ben Molutsi told the Bloemfontein magistrate's court that the state was not going to drop the charges against Schalk van der Merwe, Johnny Roberts, Roelof Malherbe and Danie Grobler.

"The prosecution is not going to withdraw the case. In the representations made, the accused raised certain issues that forced the state to go deeper into the matter and needed to be cleared," Molutsi said.

Grobler was not in court and his warrant of arrest is still pending.

Molutsi told the court that Grobler now lives in Namibia.

Molutsi told magistrate Mziwonke Hinxa that the prosecution was ready to proceed with the trial but was again forced to request a postponement because "we have to consider the representations made and discuss them with the director of public prosecutions".

"We have to remember that we are dealing with people. We cannot turn a blind eye. I want to emphasise that we are forced by the pressure from the defence. We were ready to proceed," he said.

But the Reitz four's lawyer Christo Dippenaar said: "We consulted with all the role players and had a discussion. We also had to consult with an attorney in Durban before we made the submissions."

Molutsi and Dippenaar also raised issues about the media not respecting the case.

"The media keeps calling the complainants while the matter is sub judice," Molutsi said.

The case was postponed to February 24.