South Africa 22.5.2018 05:31 pm

Lawyer for 8 Marikana murder accused pulls out

Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) councillor Napoleon Webster. Picture: ANA

Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) councillor Napoleon Webster. Picture: ANA

Charges were today withdrawn against six of the original 14 accused, including Forum 4 Service Delivery councillor Napoleon Webster.

The lawyer representing eight Marikana men arrested in connection with the murder of Sabata Petros Chale pulled out of the case today.

Eric Marx told the North West High Court sitting in Mogwase outside Rustenburg that he was pulling out of the case due to lack of proper instruction.

Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Herbert Baqhesi, William Nyenyane, Samson Gqwetani, Nkosindiphile Nziyose, Sivuyile Qasha and Mzolisi Mbulana asked Judge Ronnie Hendricks to give them time to enable them to make arrangement with Marx as they wanted to retain him as their lawyer during the trial.

The case was postponed to June 25 for the men to sort out their legal problems. It was established that Marx withdrew his service due to non-payment.

Judge Hendricks told them to bring their legal representative to court on June 25, or they would be ordered to conduct their own defence.

The eight men were arrested in connection with the murder of Chale in Marikana West near Rustenburg on December 8, 2016. Sabata was killed, allegedly by the group, over the allocation of low cost (RDP) houses in Marikana. He was hacked with spears and pangas. He sustained several stab wounds. The court has heard that his attackers drank his blood after he was killed.

According to postmortem report he died due to multi injuries and sharp force trauma.

Six others – Mdlondozi Fundiwo, Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) councillor Napoleon Webster, Aphindile Pungone, Gift Luveli, Nkululeko Msithwa and Luvo Soyizwaphi – were earlier today discharged from the case as there was not enough evidence against them to secure a conviction.

A woman screamed with joy and clapped hands when charges against the six were withdrawn. The court orderly quickly called her to order, while her friends whispered to her that they would celebrate outside.

Webster sobbed as he walked out of the courtroom.

Forum 4 Service Delivery said it was vindicated after it was attacked for supporting Webster.

“We were attacked for supporting community leader Mr Napoleon Webster. We were attacked for giving support to him and others,” said party leader Mbahare Kekana.

African News Agency (ANA)

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