South Africa

Case against 7 men accused of murdering Andile Mbuthu postponed amid court protest

Durban- The matter of the seven men who are accused of murdering and kidnapping Andile Mbuthu has been until next week. 

This is the second postponement in as many weeks.

The accused men are,Mlungisi Thabethe,26, Andile Nhleko,27, Mncedisi Mzobe, 27, Siyanda Msweli,26, Lindani Ndlovu,26, and Malusi Mthembu,27 and a 16 year-old minor who cannot be named. 

State Advocate Krishen Shah said he wanted to postpone the matter because he needed to investigate allegations made by defence attorney Chris Gounden that the accused were forced to sign blank statements. 

He also said he wanted to look into the application by the defence that the suspects make their next appearance in court. 

Gounden had argued that he needed the accused to be in court so that he would be able to consult with them properly during the bail application. 

The state argued that this was not possible because of the lockdown regulations.

Shah said there was also a conflict of interest as Thabethe who is the owner of the tavern was paying for the services of Gounden who was representing all of the accused. 

The minor is being released by LegalAid. 

Magistrate Rajesh Parshotam agreed to postpone the matter until next week.

Their first appearance last week had been filled with tension as people protested outside against the six men who are facing murder and kidnapping charges. 

It was more of the same on Tuesday as there was another protest outside the court, but this was quickly crushed by police who had maintained a strong presence. 

Mbuthu’s family were also in the courtroom as they watched proceedings.

Mbuthu was reported missing by his family after he was allegedly kidnapped and assaulted on suspicion of stealing alcohol from a local tavern. 

A video of what appears to be Andile being assaulted surfaced on social media and led to a huge uproar on social media and around the country.

Daily News

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