The bail request of Sipho Lawrence Mkhatshwa, accused of murder by Hillary Gardee, was adjourned by the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Public Prosecutor Ntsika Mpolweni told the court that Mkhatshwa, who requested bail, initially dropped
Mpolweni said the state had reached an agreement with the defense to postpone the matter until June 2 due to the investigating officer’s death and couldn’t appear in court.
“The defense attorney agreed to this via text message and said we can postpone it. June 2 was appropriate,” Mpolweni told the court.
Defender’s attorney, Sifiso Silindza, dismissed the state’s submission, saying it was regrettable that the state was using the SMS against him “.
“I never agreed to say today is gone. It’s a shock and a surprise to have the SMS working against me,” he said.
Silindza asked the court to proceed with hearing his client’s bail request, arguing that bail requests are urgent.
He said his client was at risk of losing his job as a result of his continued detention.
“There is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code that states that the investigating officer must appear in court for a motion to be filed can be put on deposit. The investigating officer is not the full force of the police force. He’s a member who fits into the jigsaw puzzle,” he said.
Silindza said the chief of criminal investigation should have brought someone else to justice, or the investigating officer should have made an affidavit.Mpolweni told the court, “The state refuses to bail in this matter.”
Magistrate Edward Hall agreed with the state, saying the investigating officer plays a vital role in the case because he or she collects all the evidence.
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