Here’s a wrap up of what was heard in court last week in Joburg

Case struck off the roll

The Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court struck a case of attempted murder and kidnapping against our accused persons off its court roll. Magistrate Thandi Twele said it was clear that the investigating officer was ignoring instructions from the prosecutor.

Twele said justice delayed is justice denied. The four are alleged to have kidnapped and beat up the complainant after he had allegedly sold fake passports to them.

It is understood that the accused had paid the complainant R30 000 in order for him to get them passports.

In December 2016 when the accused people were trying to leave South Africa, they were told by authorities that their passports were fake. The accused persons then went on to look for the person who sold them the passports, put him in the boot of their car and assaulted him. The complainant then opened a kidnapping and attempted murder case with the police.

What caused delays and postponements with the case being finalised is that the fifth suspect is still on the run. Twele said the state was afforded enough time to get the other suspect and had failed to do so on numerous occasions. The case had been postponed four times in order to allow the investigating officer to arrest the fifth suspect. Twele said once the state has its house in order, it can summon the accused and the case can be heard in court again.

Drug possession convict to be deported

The Alexandra Magistrates’ Court has ordered that a 38-year-old Nigerian man found guilty of drug possession be deported back to his home country. Peter Fzuoba who was a Carlswald resident at the time of his arrest, was found guilty of drug possession. He was arrested in April last year by police during a routine patrol.

He was found in possession of 22,34 grams of cocaine. Handing down the sentence, Magistrate Renier Boshoff told the accused that he abused the hospitality of South Africa. He told him that he was only in the country on a passport but went on to break the law of this country.

Although the accused pleaded guilty to the charge, Boshoff told him that he wasted the court’s time and kept the case going from April last year as he was denying that he committed the offence. The court also noted that although the accused was not found with a lot of drugs in his possession, the accused contravened Section 4 of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act.

Boshoff said the accused was found in possession of a dangerous substance which is a serious offence. The Magistrate sentenced the man to 10 years’ imprisonment which is wholly suspended for five years. The magistrate also ordered that the man is deported back to his home country.

Another case struck off the roll

The Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court has struck off its court roll a case against Ibrahim Moyo and Quincy Sibanyoni. The two are accused of armed robbery. The failure by the investigating officer to bring witnesses to court is the reason behind the decision to struck the case off the court roll.

Magistrate Thandi Twele said she had afforded the state enough time to bring witnesses to court and the state failed to do so. Twele said once the state has all its ducks in a row, the accused can be summoned and the case can resume.

Mall gang case to continue

The six men who allegedly plotted to rob a cell phone store at Fourways Mall in September last year appeared in the Randburg Magistrates’ Court. The state requested a further one-month postponement in order to complete investigations but defence attorneys objected to this postponement.

They said the matter has been going on for a while now and it was quite unfortunate that the state was not yet ready to proceed with the trial. The attorneys told the court to bear in mind that the accused persons have been in custody since their arrest in September last year.

The court agreed with the attorneys and told the state to speed up investigations. The case has been remanded to 20 March.

Postponed for bail application

The Midrand Magistrates’ Court postponed a case against a 28-year-old Thembisa man accused of housebreaking with intent to steal. The case has been postponed for a formal bail application and verification of the accused’s home address.

Belinda Pheto

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