Durban — A former constable alleged to have killed his elderly mother by assaulting her with a wooden plank with nails in it still has not had his trial begin and he is now with his fifth lawyer.
On Wednesday, KwaDabeka Constable Lungisani Xaba, 49, appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court. It had been anticipated that his trial would begin after he changed attorneys, however, the Legal Aid attorney indicated that she had not consulted with Xaba who told the court he was sick.
The matter was adjourned to the end of February for Xaba to consult with his attorney ahead of the trial.
Xaba is charged with the murder of Greta Xaba, 70. He was arrested on May 7, 2022, in KwaDabeka for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. However, the charge was changed to murder on May 8 after his mother died.
He remains behind bars after two failed bail attempts; in July 2022 following his arrest he was refused bail by magistrate Gwendolyn Robinson in the district court.
One of the reasons the magistrate cited in refusing Xaba bail was that the investigating officer had told the court that Xaba was familiar with some of the State witnesses, and the testimony they were expected to give. But in Xaba’s affidavit he was adamant that he did not know the witnesses.
The following year in March, Xaba again applied for bail based on new facts. However, magistrate Robinson ruled that the facts that he had presented to the court could not be considered new and were not enough for her to change her initial decision to refuse him bail.
Xaba’s new facts were that his children were suffering since his arrest.
In her ruling, Robinson said that when she initially denied Xaba bail he was employed by the SAPS and he had failed to prove that his children’s needs were not being met.
“Witnesses are all still the same ones and you are well aware of who they are; that threat has not fallen away,” she had said at the time.
Outside court, Xaba’s younger sister Andile Xaba said they were frustrated by the endless delays of the trial.
“This is his fifth lawyer, the postponements and delays are frustrating because we also want to see the matter to finality.
“We seek answers and hope that the trial will provide these. To this day we don’t know why our mother who was wheelchair-bound would be killed in such a brutal manner. We have been left without our mother, she may have been wheelchair-bound but she played a huge part in our lives,” she said.
Andile had explained previously that her brother fired his gun at their mother but “luckily the bullet hit the floor and not our mother”.
She said that the family dynamic was not good and often violent towards their mother.
“He had left home and went to rent, then returned wanting to make peace with mom. He gave her money to do a ceremony for forgiveness for the words he had spoken to her. He gave her R6000. He said R1000 was for her and R5000 for the ceremony but he ended up taking back this money. When the R5000 was returned he demanded the R1000,” she said.
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