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Student cop murder trial postponed

Crime & Courts

Johannesburg - The murder trial of student Constable Sipho Mbatha was postponed by the High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Judge Kathleen Satchwell postponed the case to August 6 because Mbatha's lawyer advocate Kenneth Manyage was ill.

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926 30.07.2012 Student constable Sipho Mbatha, who shot and killed 16 year old Thato Mokoka early this year. Appears before the Johannesburg High Court for the murder of Mokoka. Mbatha (said this in his evidence) apparently shot and killed the 16 year old as the gun he was carrying went off mistakenly and firing 8 bullets to the young man’s body at his home in Braamfisherville in Soweto. Picture:Itumeleng English

Constable Clifford Mathebula was to have been cross-examined.

He was one of the policemen who was with Mbatha when Thato Mokoka was shot dead outside his grandmother's house in Bramfischerville, Soweto, on February 14.

Mokoka, 16, had been accused of being part of a gang called the BWA (Boys with Advices) and of owning an illegal firearm.

On Wednesday, Mathebula testified that he told his colleagues there was no gun in Mokoka's shack and suggested that they leave.

Shortly thereafter, an R5 rifle was fired and Mokoka was killed.

He identified Mbatha as the officer who had been holding the gun over Mokoka when it went off.

Mbatha has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge brought against him.

He has claimed that the gun went off accidentally while he was trying to search the teenager.

Mokoka's aunt Mpumi Mokoka and a 15-year-old girl who was with Mokoka on the day of the shooting have already testified. - Sapa

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