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Magistrate in race attack case objects to proceedings

16/05/2016. Mzwakhe Mbuli and Andy Mashaile leaving the Pretoria North Magistrate Court after the bail application of Andries Jacobus Vermaak. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

16/05/2016. Mzwakhe Mbuli and Andy Mashaile leaving the Pretoria North Magistrate Court after the bail application of Andries Jacobus Vermaak. Picture: Oupa Mokoena

Published May 17, 2016

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Pretoria - The Randfontein magistrate who was the alleged victim of a racist attack near Montana Hospital in Pretoria has launched an appeal for the magistrate presiding over his case to be recused.

In his request, magistrate Mphafolane Koma raised concerns that the interest of justice would not be served if the presiding magistrate continued with his case.

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“The presiding officer interfered with the work of the prosecution and the police by not allowing them the requested seven-day postponement to allow the police to complete their investigations for the purposes of bail,” read the request.

“The magistrate refused to afford the State the opportunity by insisting that the matter be postponed to an earlier date,” wrote Koma.

Former chairman of the Gauteng Community Police Board and Interpol global ambassador Andy Mashaile said the attack on Koma was a violation of his human rights and also a children’s rights violation.

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Mashaile said the actions of Andries Jacobus Vermaak, 21, the man arrested for the attack, should be something that should worry all South Africans.

“This man’s actions speak to that we haven’t done our best as families to teach our children to learn to accept each other. The 13 million people of this province have joined hands to say we are going to make this country work and we can’t tolerate an individual who comes out to destroy all of that good work we are trying to do,” he said.

Poet and Interpol ambassador Mzwakhe Mbuli said he was most upset at the trauma the incident had inflicted on Koma’s daughter.

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“Children are supposed to feel protected in the presence of their parents but instead the magistrate’s little girl was vulnerable with her father there. We can’t let it come to a point that previously oppressed people are left feeling forced to become aggressors in a democracy,”said Mbuli.

Koma was said to have been attacked when he stopped at a traffic light while travelling with his 12-year-old daughter. Vermaak allegedly jumped out of his vehicle with a hammer and started breaking the windows of Koma’s BMW, while also referring to him by the k-word.

Vermaak who is charged with malicious damage to property and crimen injuria was granted R3 000 bail and the matter was postponed to May 27.

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