From Coligny murder to Marikana case: A year in the NW High Court
RUSTENBURG - The North West High Court heard a raft of high profile cases in the past year, ranging from the so-called Coligny sunflower murder to the killing of miners in Marikana.
Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutte, convicted of killing a 16-year-old boy in Coligny, spent the festive season with their families after they were released on bail.
The North West High Court granted them R20 000 bail each in November, pending their appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.
Doorewaard was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment and Schutte to 23 years for killing Matlhomola Jonas Mosweu of Scotland informal settlement in Coligny, on April 20, 2017.
They successfully petitioned the SCA after the North West High Court refused them leave to appeal, following claims that the State's star witness had confessed that he lied to the court.
Mosweu was killed by the pair for allegedly stealing sunflower heads valued at R80.
In Marikana, east of Rustenburg, Samkelo Mkhutshwa, 38, and Simphiwe Silwane, 36, both from Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, were sentenced for the murder and attempted murder of members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu).
The were sentenced to 25 years for attempted murder, 15 years for the possession of illegal firearms and five years for the possession of ammunition.
Silwane was further sentenced to life for the murder of Mveliso Biyela.
They were convicted of the attempted murder of branch chairperson (now North West region deputy chairperson) Malibongwe Mdazo and Msindiseni Kwenene.
Mdazo was shot several times in Mooinooi near Brits in July 2017, and Kwenene was shot at in September 2017. Both survived.
Mveliso Biyela was shot dead while walking home from the Wonderkop hostel on September 22, 2017.
In total 13 people were arrested, but 11 were discharged due to lack of evidence to prosecute.
In Mogwase north of Rustenburg, former North West deputy police commissioner William Mpembe and eight other policemen are on trial in connection with the Marikana massacre of August 2012, in which the most people died at police hands in a single incident in the post-apartheid era.
General Mpembe, is accused of the murder of Semi Jokanisi, Tembelakhe Mati, Warrant Officer Hendrik Tsietsi Monene, and Warrant Officer Sello Ronnie Lepaauku.
He is also accused of the attempted murder of Zolile Honxo, Zwelitsha Mtshenwa, Muziwanele Mxinwa, Mzoxolo Zukulu, Sibongiseni Miya on August 13, 2012 in Marikana.
The former policeman, who is a head of security at a mining company in Marikana, is also charged alongside retired Colonel Salmon Johannes Vermaak, Constable Nkosana Mguye, Warrant Officer Masilo Mogale, Warrant Officer Katlego Joseph Sekgweleya and Khazamola Phillip Makhubela, 49, with the murder of Pumzile Sokhanyile.
Mpembe also faces other charges of defeating the ends of justice, contravention of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Act as well as contravention of the Commission Act.
Vermaark faces charges of defeating the ends of justice and contravention of the Commission Act.
Mpembe, in this case is charged along with Gideon van Zyl, Dingaan Madoda and Oupa Pule.
Van Zyl, Madoda and Pule are accused of defeating the end of justice and contravention of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act.
Their trial continues in April 2020.
They allegedly failed to disclosed that mineworker Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala died in custody while transported to Lonmin premises on August 16, 2012.
In another case relating to the Marikana massacre, 17 mineworkers --Anele Zonke, Xolani Nzuzu, Simphiwe Booi, Khanyile Kanyise, Mzoxolo Magidiwana, Samekelo Mkhize, Amanda Nogwaza, Thobile Tyobeni, Mzukisi Soyini, Bongile Mpotye, Zamikhaya Ndude, Sithembele Sohadi, Loyiso Mtsheketshe, Zolile Honxo, Zwelitsha Mtshena, Mziwanele Mxinwa and Mzoxolo Zukulu -- are facing 26 counts ranging from attempted murder, murder, malicious damage to property, robbery, unlawful possession of firearm as well as unlawful possession of ammunition.
The charges relate to the murder of 10 people, preceding August 16 2012, the day on which 34 mineworkers were killed by the police during a wildcat strike at Lonmin platinum mine operations in Marikana.
The State alleges the group killed two Lonmin security officers Frans Matlhomola Mabelane, Hassan Fundi, two policemen Warrant Officer Hendrick Tsietsi Monene and Warrant Officer Oupa Sello Lepaaku, Eric Thapelo Mabebe, Julius Langa, and Isaiah Twala.
They also face a charge of attempted murder of Lieutenant Shitumo Solomon Baloyi, Lourens Christian Keyter amongst others.
Nineteen mineworkers were initially arrested but accused ten, Majeke Nonkonyana, and accused six, Dlunga Tholakele, have since died. Dlunga, known as Bhele, was shot dead in his shack in Nkaneng on October 17, 2017.
The group had applied to the High Court in Pretoria to review the decision of former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shaun Abrahams to prosecute them. Their application was dismissed.
The group is expected to appear in the North West Court in April 2020. It was expected that the high court in Pretoria would make a decision on their application.
African News Agency (ANA)