The murder case against four police officers accused of shooting Mthokozisi Ntumba dead during Wits University student protests earlier this year has been postponed to 6 August 2021.
This is after the National Prosecuting Authority requested more time for further investigations.
Magistrate Betty Khumalo agreed to delay the case and extended the accused’s bail.
“Your matter has been remanded until 6 August 2021. All of you are warned to be back at this court and failure to attend a warrant of arrest will be authorised against whoever is in default,” Khumalo said.
Constable Tshepiso Kekana, sergeants Boitumelo Motseothata and Madimeja Legodi; and warrant officer Victor Nkosinathi Mohammed appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Regional Court.
During their last court appearance in March, they were all granted bail of R8,000 each.
They were arrested on charges of murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Ntumba died after being shot with rubber bullets during student protests in the Braamfontein, Johannesburg city centre.
The 35-year-old civil servant found himself caught in the crossfire during running battles between police and students while he was leaving his doctor’s rooms.
Post mortem findings revealed that Ntumba died of rubber bullet wounds to the chest. A ballistics expert confirmed he was shot at a close range of about 4 metres.
During their bail application, the state strongly opposed the accused being released.
But magistrate Sipho Sibanyoni ruled in favour of the defence saying the state failed to prove the accused’s release on bail would result in a public outcry.
The magistrate pointed out that no community members, either the general public or the student community, had been called to give evidence in support of these statements.
The police officers have denied the allegations against them and indicated they intend to plead not guilty.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Wicks.