A six-month delay in the murder trial of a North West farmer and his son, who allegedly murdered their neighbour by brutally assaulting him and running over him with their bakkie, has severely upset the victim’s family.
Judge Natvarlal Ranchod on Monday postponed the murder trial of Brits farmer Schalk Myburgh, 53, and his son Schalk Jnr, 30, until September after the accused said they needed more time to raise funds to pay for private legal representation.
This was despite prosecutor Jennifer Cronje’s strenuous objections.
Cronje argued that the Myburghs already had six months to either pay for their own legal representatives or apply for legal aid, but they failed to do so and were now “playing for time”.
She said a further delay would severely prejudice a 14-year-old boy who had witnessed the alleged murder and was ready to testify. She argued that the child’s rights should enjoy preference.
The delay would also place the victim’s already traumatised family under additional strain while the accused, who were out on bail, were able to get on with their lives, she added.
Judge Ranchod granted a postponement, but warned the accused that they had to be ready to go on trial and that they would have to represent themselves if they failed to arrange legal representation by then. Their bail of R500 each was extended.
The Myburghs are accused of murdering a neighbouring farmer, Muraga Mavula, 66, near Kameeldrift outside Brits in December 2015 by allegedly severely assaulting him and running over him with their bakkie.
Mavula was allegedly attacked while he was collecting his dead goat near a water canal in the area. A post-mortem report stated that he had died of multiple blunt force injuries.
His widow, Mrs Anna Mavula, said she was very unhappy about the long delay.
“They killed my husband but they’re going on with their lives as normal while I cannot.
“… I’m very emotionally upset every time I see them in court … My husband’s death has severely affected my family.
“He was the breadwinner. Now I have to try to carry on on my own and take care of nine children,” she said.