Paul Mashatile's unmasked VIP protectors to go on trial in May
National Prosecuting Authority says it's ready to prosecute
The eight police VIP protection unit officers accused of assault, who have returned to work, showed their faces when they appeared in the Randburg magistrate's court on Thursday.
At previous appearances, the officers, who are part of Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s protection team, were allowed to be masked as the identity parade had not yet been held.
Shadrack Kojoana, Johannes Mampuru, Pomso Mofokeng, Harmans Ramokhonami, Phineas Boshielo, Churchill Mkhize, Lesibana Rambau and Moses Tshidada face 12 counts, including assault, malicious damage to property, discharging a firearm, contravening the Road Traffic Act, reckless and negligent driving and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
The officers have returned to work after a suspension but have been deployed to a different unit.
The matter has been postponed to May 6 for trial, with the National Prosecutor Authority (NPA) saying it is ready to prosecute.
“We are ready to proceed to the next stage of the case, which is the trial. We have enough evidence to sustain the allegations against the accused,” NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.
Asked who the state will call as witnesses, Mjonondwane said this will be revealed in court.
“We are not in a position to share information on our strategy to be used in court and we have not disclosed the content of the docket to the defence team. This postponement will allow us, as the state, to disclose the content ... to prepare their defence,” she said.
The eight men were caught on camera in July beating and kicking a motorist and two passengers on the N1 in Johannesburg. The two passengers are apparently linked to the South African National Defence Force.
The person who captured the incident on camera apparently received death threats, which motivated the NPA to oppose bail. However, the officers were granted R10,000 bail each on August 1.
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