Lawyer Malesela Teffo, who is defending four of the accused in Senzo Meyiwa’s trial, would like the court to hear a letter from one of the men about the conditions in Kgosi Mampuru Prison.
Muzikawukhulelwa Sibiya, Bongani Sandiso Ntanzi, Mthobisi Prince Mncube, Mthokoziseni Maphisa and Sifisokuhle Nkani Ntuli are on trial in the Pretoria High Court on first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery in aggravated circumstances and possession of illicit firearms and ammunition. They have pleaded not guilty.
Teffo told the court Mncube was unhappy with his detention in Pretoria prison.
“My client was abducted from Johannesburg prison and after Kgosi Mampuru brought. My client is suffering. I urge the court to allow the letter to be read,” he said.
However, Zandile Mshololo, Ntuli’s attorney, saidthat she did not see the letter as per the procedure.
span >”No copies were sent to us. Now it’s to be read into the file if we haven’t had a look at the letter in preparation,” she said.
She also argued that without a response from the correctional services, no decision could be made. Mshololo asked the court not to consider the motion.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela said the lawsuits should be processed so the court can make an informed decision.
Prosecutor George Baloyi asked for Time to speak to prison authorities about the issues raised.
Tuesday was scheduled to hear Teffo’s motion to challenge the jurisdiction of the North Gauteng Superior Court to hear the case. However, Baloyi told the court that Teffo failed to present arguments to prosecutors and other defense attorneys.
“The court established a timeline for attorney Teffo to submit the arguments and the time limit within which the state and attorney Mshololo had to respond. However, no heads have been received from Teffo… thus eliminating the need for the state and attorney Mshololo to file heads,” Baloyi said.
Teffo argued last month that the national chief of public prosecutors ( NDPP) Shamila Batohi was not authorized to assign the case of Palm Ridge, Johannesburg to Pretoria. “Batohi has the authority to issue the policy as to where the alleged crime may be investigated, but not where the court case will be heard. That is up to the minister,” he said.
Mshololo asked that the case be adjourned. “Now that the purpose of [hearing the application for] jurisdiction has become obsolete, I am asking for an adjournment to September 4 for continuing the process,” she said.
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