Patrick Wisani, the former ANC Youth League official who is alleged to have beaten his girlfriend to death with a sjambok last year, was calm and jovial as he entered the courtroom from the holding cells at the Randburg Magistrates’ Court carrying his own documents as he positioned himself in the dock yesterday.
It was the second day of the murder trial at the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Randburg, which was again postponed because, upon learning Wisani was not able to pay him that morning, his advocate withdrew.
Wisani pleaded not guilty last Friday to three charges related to the murder, which include a charge he faces for allegedly assaulting two witnesses in May. Details of what witnesses saw on the night Nosipho Mandleleni was allegedly murdered by Wisani are expected to be heard during the trial.
Nosipho’s twin sister, Siphokazi Mandleleni, who was allegedly assaulted by Wisani in May, was scheduled to testify yesterday before the matter was postponed. Judge Mohammed Ismail, who took over the trial after Judge Andre Louw recused himself from the matter in August, reprimanded Wisani yesterday for causing several delays in the trial, which was already set to start on Monday last week.
Wisani opted for legal aid after his third lawyer withdrew. The courtroom was full of supporters of the Mandleleni family, including NGOs and activists against gender violence.
Noxolo Mlandleleni, the deceased’s mother, said while her family was heartbroken, they were comforted by the prospect of justice being done.