Threat to kill Supra Mahumapelo trial delayed over 'impartial' magistrate

Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo.
Image: JAMES OATWAY/Sunday Times.

The trial of a Mahikeng councillor accused of threatening to kill North West ANC chairperson Supra Mahumapelo failed to resume at the Mmabatho Regional Court on Monday after the defence called for a different magistrate to preside over the matter.

Councillor Ditebogo Molema faces charges of intimidation after he allegedly sent threatening cellphone messages to the former premier in July last year. Molema’s attorney, Bakang Sephecholo, said the defence team was not happy that magistrate Stephen Du Toit was presiding over the case.

In October last year, Du Toit sentenced to five years in jail ANC member Gaasite Legalatladi after finding her guilty of conspiracy to murder Mahumapelo. Legalatladi, who is out on a R3 000 bail, is appealing the conviction and sentence.

Sephecholo said: “The reason why we wanted a postponement was because we wanted another magistrate who will be clear and impartial with the proceedings."

Mahumapelo, who attended the court proceedings with his wife Kuli, said after the postponement that he was hopeful. “Justice must happen, I am just a witness to the state because I was a premier when it happened." said Mahumapelo.

"The state had to take up this particular matter. I have confidence in the justice system and I hope that the matter will go according to how we, as the citizens of South Africa, expect due processes of the law to be followed."

The case was postponed to Tuesday to set a date for the new magistrate to take over.