“The defence lawyers had enough time until yesterday’s [Monday] trial date. The request for postponement for a week from now is denied,” said magistrate Vincent Pienaar.
“I am going to postpone the trial to tomorrow [Wednesday] at 9am.”
Constables Mduduzi Mfundisi Nzuza and Sam Baloyi face charges of attempted murder, reckless endangerment, failure to take reasonable precautions to avoid danger, and negligent use of a firearm. Both are out on bail.
Prosecutor Rassie Erasmus, from the office of the National Director for Public Prosecutions (NDPP), asked the court to postpone the trial for a week to await a response from the NDPP.
“The letter has been drafted and submitted to the NDPP and all the parties have seen it,” Erasmus said.
“The advocate responsible for this matter at the NDPP is not available…. We tried to get hold of him, hence we ask for a postponement. He is involved with another trial.”
Erasmus would not divulge the contents of the letter.
The case was postponed on Monday when Tuelo Thomas, for the defence, told the court senior police officials had asked to meet him about the case.
However, neither he nor the accused were at court when the case was called at 9am on Tuesday, and it was briefly adjourned. They arrived shortly before 10am.
Thomas told the court he had been delayed by numerous phone calls “from various stakeholders” regarding the case.
He requested for another adjournment until 2pm following the defence’s submission to the NDPP. It was a subsequent request that was denied.
Nzuza and Baloyi allegedly shot at the award-winning musician Khuli Chana’s car when he failed to stop at a roadblock they had set up at a petrol station on the N1 in Midrand on October 28.
Khuli Chana, whose real name is Khulane Morule, was not in court on Tuesday. He was wounded in the hand and back during the shooting.
At the time, police were searching for a group of men who had kidnapped a Bedfordview businessman.
The ransom money was to have been left at the petrol station. The officers apparently mistook Khuli Chana’s car for that of the kidnappers.
A police officer has since been arrested and charged with the kidnapping.