The Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Monday that it was necessary to conduct proceedings in the Glebelands Eight case in camera as three witnesses had already been murdered.
While Judge Nkosinathi Chili finally allowed the application for the trial to be held in camera, it did not stop the first witness from looking scared; not once did he shift his gaze the way of the accused.
“It is quite clear, given the background to Glebelands Hostel, that there is a very real danger to those who will testify,” said veteran state prosecutor, Advocate Dorian Paver, while making the application.
There was fear among the remaining witnesses that they, or their families, would suffer the same fate as the deceased witnesses, Judge Nkosinathi Chili was later told by the colonel who led the team investigating the case.
The application was strongly opposed by legal representatives for the accused, who argued that the men – alleged ringleader and former Durban police officer Bhekukwazi Mdweshu, Khayelihle Mbuthuma, Vukani Mcobothi, Eugene Hlophe, Ncomekile Ntshangase, Mbuyiselwa Mkhize, Mondli Mthethwa and Bongani Mbhele – had been incarcerated for almost two years and wanted the support of family and friends while being tried.
The accused have been…
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Publish date : 2019-09-03 10:05:49