Case against one Soshanguve shooting suspect struck off the roll

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The case against one of the four additional suspects arrested over the weekend in connection with the New Year’s Day shooting of four people at Jukulyn in Soshanguve north of Pretoria has been struck off the court roll. Sizwe Msibi appeared alone in the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court without the three other suspects.

The four were arrested on Saturday night in various areas around Pretoria. However, his matter was struck off the court roll because police investigators failed to bring him before court within the mandated 48 hours period which expired yesterday.

Msibi made his first court appearance in a blood-soaked t-shirt. He told the court he was assaulted by the police during his arrest on Saturday evening. Msibi was arrested together with three other people.

But what surprised the families of the victims is that he appeared alone before the court. His other co-accused George Nyathi was represented by his lawyer who told the court that his client had been admitted to hospital on Monday night for urgent medical attention. Zingisile Jonga, one of the family members of the deceased, was unhappy with the outcome.

“You know our justice system keeps failing us. I mean with this kind of a case, they should have put their best especially in terms of the police, in this case. But to be told this guy is released because of the technicalities. You know, it pains us.”

The suspects were arrested in connection with the murder of 14-year-old Vuyolwethu Ziwela, her uncle Mpho Kgobotlo who is a police officer and Kgobotlo’s two friends, Phomolang Molakapatlo and Thando Dlamini. They were shot dead by armed gunmen traveling in two cars at Block P in Soshanguve.

Msibi’s lawyer Steve Magoro says the release of his client does not mean the end of the case.

“The court is upholding the law and the constitution to be adhered to by all roleplayers. The police knew well that the accused was supposed to be in court yesterday but they did what they did. They still have a chance to summon him to court. So, it is not like this matter is done and dusted.”

Magoro says police investigators have a lot to answer for. He alleged that his client was assaulted during his arrest.

He says this was done to allegedly force his client to confess to the crime.

“My client’s instruction is that he was being beaten time and again by the police and as such he fears that he has internal injuries. But you could also see from the vest or t-shirt that he was wearing that was full of blood and prove that indeed he was assaulted.”

However, Nyathi’s lawyer, Mahlatsi Madira says the police investigator has failed to inform him about his client’s ill health and admission to hospital. He says he was expecting to see his client in court.

“I do not have any instructions since you know that my client is not here and I will not say much about him. But, it is quite clear that the decision that was applied today would have also applied to him, they were arrested at the same time and the case has been postponed in his absence. So, we will see what unfolds on Friday when this case resurfaces.”

The case against Msibi, Nyathi and two others, whose whereabout were never explained in court, has been postponed until Friday. They are expected to appear alongside Sipho Kgomo and Tshepo Mosemeni who were arrested on Tuesday last week and remanded in custody after a brief appearance in court.

Other suspects in the case will return to court on 12 January: