A 36-year-old taxi driver accused of the attempted murder of an Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader appeared briefly in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
However, the case against Simphiwe Silwane was postponed to 1 February, for a bail application to be heard before a new magistrate.
He is accused of shooting at Amcu branch chairman at Western Platinum, Malibongwe Mdazo, on 22 July, in Mooinooi near Brits. Silwane was arrested in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape in December.
Earlier Magistrate Stanley Maribe transferred the matter to another court to allow another magistrate to preside over the bail application. Maribe said he recused himself because he had become aware that Silwane was linked to a case he previously presided over.
Maribe was the presiding officer when Samkelo Mkhutshwa, was released on a R2 500 on December 29.
In an affidavit read in court by his lawyer, before the matter was moved to another courtroom, Silwane said at the time of the shooting, he was watching a soccer match at a sports ground in Mooinooi. He said he heard several gunshots. Along with other spectators and soccer players they “took cover”.
The accused said he was only linked to the charge by people who claimed he knew the person who fired the shots. Silwane is charged together with Nkosinathi Mantashe and Samkelo Mkhutshwa.
Mantashe was granted R10 000 bail and Mkhutshwa R2 500 bail. They were expected to again appear in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on January 31.
A high number of Amcu members in their green union T-shirts attended the court proceeding.
– African News Agency (ANA)