Pretoria - Former leaders of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu), who are facing a charge of murder and two of attempted murder following attacks on Amcu management in 2017, were warned that if they intimidated witnesses, their bail would be revoked.
The eight briefly appeared for the second time this week in the Gauteng High Court, where their trial was postponed to Monday. The men are expected to plead to the charges against them.
Judge Bert Bam on Wednesday once again warned that if the accused were not ready to proceed and the court found that they were deliberately delaying their trial, he would revoke their bail.
The trial, which was set down for three weeks, could not resume this week as seven of the accused obtained a new lawyer. They still had to brief him about their defence.
Prosecutor Annelie Coetzee on Monday told the court that one of the State witnesses complained that he was being intimidated by one of the accused, who told him “there will be trouble” if he was spotted coming to court.
Coetzee on Wednesday said this witness again complained that some of the accused on Monday, after the case was adjourned, gathered outside his home to intimidate him.
Judge Bam warned that if this was true, the accused will have their bail revoked.
The new lawyer acting for seven of the accused wanted the court to adjourn the matter for a month, but Judge Bam refused. He said he was only willing to stand the matter down to Monday. The case was on the roll for three weeks, but due to the delays will now only be able to proceed for the next two weeks.
Busloads of Amcu members filled the courtroom in anticipation of hearing “the truth” about what happened to their colleagues.
The accused are believed to be some of the kingpins behind the spate of attacks in Marikana in 2017, during which a chairperson of the Marikana branch of Amcu was nearly killed. Malibongwe Mdazo was shot 16 times but survived the attack.
They are facing six charges, including murder, two charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
The men are Samkelo Mkutshwa, 38, Simphiwe Silwane, 36, both of Lusikisike, Xolile Madikane, 39, of Stimbi Village in the Eastern Cape, Mthethelethi Tshubuka, 35, of the Wonderkop Hostel in Marikana, Zambelekhaya Mboxela, 35, of Dutya in the Eastern Cape, Zithobile Mangqo, 45, Bongile Cingo, 35, both of the Eastern Cape and Siyanda Sinqina, 29, whose address was only given as Ngobozana Location.
It is claimed that the eight conspired to kill some Amcu members between May and July 2017 at Marikana.