Radzuma siblings case adjourned due to absence of defence counsel

The High Court in Thohoyandou.
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The trial of three Radzuma siblings has been adjourned until Thursday at the Thohoyandou High Court in Limpopo. The reason for the adjournment was the absence of defence counsel for one of the accused.

Advocate Ntsako Hlungwane couldn’t go to court due to a family-related matter.

The siblings are accused of killing two South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) leaders and a person of interest in Thohoyandou in January 2019.

They were against the municipalities investing public funds in the now-defunct VBS mutual bank.

Two key witnesses couldn’t take the witness stand. This is because the trial did not proceed. The state has lined up 150 witnesses.

Thus far, 39 witnesses have testified. Judge Thogomelani Tshidada had this to say while adjourning the trial.

Judge Thogomelani Tshidada says, “Gentlemen, I’m afraid we are facing the situation where the legal representative of accused number two Mr Hlungwane has not made his way here, given the situation this court is unable to proceed with this matter this morning. In the absence of one of the accused, as a result, we are forced to have this matter stand down until tomorrow morning.”

Tshidada has expressed his unhappiness about Hlungwani’s absence in court without notification.

“He decided to absent himself without the permission of the court. I don’t know what that means it comes with an element of disrespecting in court and not taking your client inside the heart accused number two. He was expecting to see him here I’m just expressing discomfort on how he is handling himself.”

The siblings also face 34 charges, including armed robberies, hijackings, kidnapping and murders, in addition to the killings of SAMWU leaders.

The trial has been set to continue on Thursday.

VIDEO: Radzuma brothers, Stanley Leshabane, Groblersdal farmers all in the dock this week: