Pretoria – Two men accused of killing the Pretoria Flying Squad police officer Max Lekalakala during a shoot-out with police on N4 highway have abandoned their bail application in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court.
Advocate Steve Sekwele, representing Lucky Strauss Madiba and Sipho Mpho Mohlala, told the court on Friday that his clients had instructed him not to continue with their bail application.
Sekwele did not state the reasons for the abandonment of the bail application, However, he told the court that a previous court order that the accused receive medical attention had not been followed.
He told magistrate Maryke de la Rey that Madiba and Mohlala were kept in solitary confinement at Pretoria Central Prison and as a result they had not been able to receive medical attention.
The defence advocate also told the court that the reasons for keeping his clients in solitary confinement were not known to him and he viewed this as punishment and argued that his clients should be treated like all other suspects since they had not yet been tried or sentenced.
Sekwele said his clients were in a serious need of medical attention, particularly Mohlala, whose bullet wound was now becoming septic. Apart from the request for medical care, he further asked that his clients be removed from solitary confinement and be allowed to mix with other prisoners.
State prosecutor Johannes Conradie told the court that the state did not know about the accused being kept in solitary confinement and if that is the case, it had not been arranged by the state, but that it may have been at the instruction of a commissioner of the Correctional Services.
Magistrate De la Rey postponed the case to Tuesday March 15 for purposes of finding reasons why the accused were being kept in solitary confinement at the correctional facility and why they were not receiving any medical attention as they claimed.
She made an order that both the accused receive medical attention with immediate effect and if need be, the accused should be transported to hospital for such. De la Rey warned that if the order was not adhered to, officials would be in contempt of court and the perpetrators would be dealt with accordingly.
Conradie requested that the first accused Madiba be subjected to an identity parade. However, Sekwele argued that subjecting Madiba to an identity parade would compromise him because during
the first appearance last week, the court corridors were full of people interested in the case and he believed that some of the State witnesses in this case may have been among the crowd.
Members of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and South African Communist Party (SACP) on Friday continued to picket outside the court building against police killings and in solidarity with families of the slain police officers.
Moretele Popcru chairperson Johannes Mokoena said they were glad that the suspects had decided to abandon their bail application.