Mpembe trial postponed, court orders prosecution to disclose documents

The trial involving former North West police deputy commissioner William Mpembe was postponed at the North West High Court on Tuesday.

Judge Ronnie Hendricks ruled that the State should disclose the contents of two dockets the defence had requested.

“The State is ordered to make available for inspection to the defence legal team the relevant A and C sections. Mr Ellis admitted that concerning the investigations done by the police as such. The C section of one of the dockets is indeed relevant and needed in order to prepare for trial. According to Mr Ellis, this was not supplied,” Hendricks said.

The judge made a stern warning that the contents of the documents were not for public viewing. He said the defence must state clearly what was required from the dockets in order for them to prepare for trial, such as statements by witnesses.

“These matters are still under investigation and cannot be supplied to the defence until the investigations are completed. It is understandable that information from the dockets may be sensitive at this point in time.”

The trial was postponed to Wednesday, to allow the State to provide the document to the defence.

Advocate Jan Ellis had on Monday made an application to be furnished with the two dockets, but the state said the dockets were not relevant to the trial and accused the defence of using stalling tactics by requiring the documents irrelevant to the trial.

Major-general William Mpembe, Gideon Van Zyl, Dingaan Madoda and Oupa Pule face charges of defeating the ends of justice, contravening the Commissions Act and contravening the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act.

The four allegedly failed to disclose that Modisaotsile van Wyk Sagalala died in police custody on August 16, 2012.

The policemen allegedly made it appeared as if he died in hospital.

Thirty-four mineworkers died in Marikana on August 16, 2012, when the police shoot them.

African News Agency (ANA)

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