BRITS, April 13 – Seven men accused of hatching a plan to assassinate Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leaders will have to wait for seven days to know if their bail bid was successful after the Brits Magistrate’s Court postponed the matter on Friday.
Magistrate Jethro Mosime postponed their case to April 20, for judgment, stating that he needed a week to finalise the judgment.
Prosecutor Cassius Mona told the court the community would be shocked if the men were released on bail.
“The investigating officer [Warrant Officer Johannes] Montsho, testified that Amcu members protested against their bail. Those who are in court represented a majority of Amcu members who could not come to court, the release of the applicants on bail will cause a public outrage particular in the mining area,” Mona said.
“The Investigating officer also testified that the fact that no incidents were reported after the other accused were granted bail does not mean the public is happy.”
He argued that the State had proved its case against the accused, and that they have failed to prove that it was in the interest of justice to be released on bail.
Mona started his arguments outlining what lead to the group plotting to kill Amcu leaders.
“There was a problem within Amcu, which led to some members being expelled from the union, they were not happy about the expulsion as such they held meeting and hatched a plan to kill members of Amcu they accused of being the source of their expulsion,” Mona said.
“The object of such a meeting was to plan how to eliminate identified leaders such as the complainant in this case — Malibongwe Mdazo and others, whom it was believed once they were killed, it will be the end of Amcu in the mines. Three hit men were secured from the Eastern Cape. Mdazo was shot and fortunately he survived. He was on the hit list.”
Mdazo was shot and wounded on July 22, 2017, while watching a soccer match in Mooinooi outside Brits.
On Friday, Mona conceded that a conspiracy to murder charge was difficult to prove.
He said for the charge to stick, two or more people must be involved.
“There must be a meeting of ideas, in this case, the accused held several meetings hatching a plan to kill, they were all actively involved, they know the objective of the meetings they attended.”
Meanwhile, the defence argued that their clients were sole providers of their families, and would not evade trial, interfere with investigations or witnesses.
Advocate Katlego Magano asked the court to consider the clean record the accused have, and stated that there was no evidence that they would evade trial or interfere with investigations.
The State alleges that Nkosinathi Mantashe, Samkelo Mkhutshwa, Simphiwe Silwane, Lungisa Madiba, Juke Mjakane, Sthembe Jakane, Xolile Madikane, Mthethelethu Mtshukuka, Zamelekhaya Mboxela, Zithobile Mangqo, Bongile Cingo and Peterson Siyaya plotted to kill Amcu leaders in Marikana.
Mantashe was granted R10,000 bail and Mkhutshwa was granted R2,500 bail, while Mangqo and Cingo were released on warning.
During the hearing Montsho told the court that Siyaya — who is a member of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) — was not part of people holding meetings, he only emerged when payment had to be made to hit men.
The hit men were to be paid R50,000 per hit, and they were first paid R10,000.
“The State had to be honest accused 12 [Peterson Siyaya] is linked to the case because he brought money to pay hit men. Money had to be exchanged for a conspiracy to murder to be completed,” Mona said.
Amcu members protested outside the court while others filled the court room to capacity.