Trial of nine accused in university of Fort Hare murder case resumes

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The high-profile University of Fort Hare murder case, involving nine accused, is set to resume proceedings today in the Alice Magistrates’ Court.

These individuals stand accused of their alleged involvement in the murders of Fort Hare’s Fleet Manager, Petrus Roets, and the Vice Chancellor’s bodyguard, Mboneli Vesele.

The breakthrough in the case occurred when law enforcement authorities apprehended the initial five suspects in April 2023. Subsequently, additional arrests were made, further deepening the complexities of the investigation.

The trial had previously been postponed to grant the state adequate time to conduct further investigations and make additional arrests. The state had set an August 2023 deadline to conclude its investigative efforts. Following the arrests made in August, which notably included a police officer, two more suspects were taken into custody.

The protracted delays in the proceedings have raised concerns among the defense, with Ronny Lesele, the defense lawyer, publicly expressing his clients’ intention to apply for the case to be struck off the court’s docket should the state request additional postponements, which could further stall the progression of the trial.

Furthermore, it is anticipated that the two accused who were recently arrested will seek to apply for bail as part of their legal strategy.

The resumption of the trial is awaited with keen interest, as it marks another significant step in this complex and highly-watched case that has captivated public attention.

Fort Hare murders court case continues