South Africa

Lockdown rules cause postponement of case against Andile Mbuthu's murder accused

DURBAN - The case against the suspects accused of kidnapping and murdering a Durban teenager has been postponed to next Tuesday.

Andile Mbuthu (16) was assaulted late last month after being accused of stealing alcohol from a local tavern.

The six suspects appeared in the Verulam magistrates court via camera but the matter could not proceed as the court resolved that all suspects needed to appear physically in court.

Magistrate Rajesh Parshotam conceded to an argument by defence lawyer Advocate Chris Gounden that it would be logistically challenging for the court to deal with all six suspects via camera.

However, State prosecutor Krishen Shah argued that it would not be possible for the accused to be physically brought to court under the current lockdown conditions.

Shah said that the accused would have to be immediately quarantined after their return from court, and that the Westville Correctional Service Centre - where they are kept - did not have the capacity to self-isolate of all them.

That prompted the case to be moved to next Tuesday with the hope that lockdown regulations would permit for their bail application to run smoothly.

The court is also expected to deal with a juvenile suspect at a later stage. The suspect was charged after the six men, and he made his first court appearance last Tuesday.

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