Cases that kept public captivated

Whether it was former president Jacob Zuma in the dock, his son Duduzane Zuma, the Jesus Dominion International senior pastor Timothy Omotoso, Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile, South Africans were gripped by several key court cases in 2018.

As the courts resume normal duty this month after the festive holidays, some of the pending high-profile cases will be back on the roll.

Below are some of the cases that will continue to captivate Mzansi in 2019:

  • Omotoso's rape and human trafficking trial was postponed to February 4 2019 by the Eastern Cape high court in Port Elizabeth. Omotoso and his two co-accused face 97 charges ranging from sexual assault to rape and human trafficking.

Late last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed a bid to have Judge Mandela Makaula recuse himself for being "biased".

One of the alleged victims and witnesses who has already taken the stand in the case, Cheryl Zondi, has since launched a foundation to help victims of sexual assault. The foundation had already received a kick- start of R1.5m from the National Lotteries Commission.

  • Arguments in Zuma's corruption case will resume at the high court in Pietermaritzburg in May 2019.

Zuma is facing charges ranging from racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud relating to 783 payments he allegedly received in connection with the controversial 1999 Arms Deal.

The decision to prosecute Zuma was made in 2017 by former national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams despite presentations by Zuma why he shouldn't be prosecuted.

  •  The pre-trial hearing against Duduzane will also be heard. He is facing culpable homicide case after two people died when his Porsche crashed into a taxi on a highway in 2014.
  •  Khanyile will know his fate this month when he is sentenced after the state finalises its pre-sentence report.

Khanyile was arrested in 2016 during fees protests and was found guilty of public violence, illegal gathering, obstructing traffic, causing a nuisance on public roads and possession of explosives. He spent about six months in jail before he was granted bail of R250 by the Constitutional Court.

Khanyile plans to apply for a pardon once sentenced.

  • The Ennerdale father who is facing a case of murder will know in February whether he will be charged with culpable homicide or murder.

Emmanuel Tshabalala mistakenly shot and killed his son in June when he thought he was a hijacker when his son knocked on the window of his car after evening classes.

Tshabalala was initially charged with murder but his legal representative had since made representations to the national director of public prosecutions asking that the murder charge be changed to culpable homicide.

  • The two accused in the Vlakfontein murder will be back in court this month. Ernest Mabaso, 27, and Fita Khupe, 61, face seven counts of murder after they allegedly killed three women and four children of the Khoza family in October.

Mabaso is also facing three counts of rape after he allegedly raped the three women, claiming it was under the instruction of Khupe. Khupe's lawyer asked the Protea magistrate's court to postpone the matter because he had a family emergency.

  • Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is expected back in the Newcastle magistrate's court next month.

He is accused of inciting supporters to invade land. Malema also appeared in the North Gauteng high court in December after the state charged him for encouraging people to occupy land wherever they choose as per the Freedom Charter.

Malema's other case of land grabbing will be back in the Bloemfontein magistrates's court in June this year.

  •  A 30-year-old pastor from Soshanguve, Pretoria, accused of raping young boys that he trained to be pastors at his church, Hands of God International Ministries, will be back in court this month.

The case was postponed for further investigations. The pastor is accused of oiling himself before penetrating the boys after he told them they were the chosen ones in his church.

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