LIMPOPO – Chaos erupted in the Limpopo High Court in Thohoyandou last Monday, as the murder cases involving the Radzuma brothers got underway amid a packed-to-capacity courtroom.
The counsel for all three brothers, who stand accused of murdering two Samwu officials in 2019, argued that it was their clients’ wish that the media be excluded from proceedings, as the brothers feared that negative reporting might impact the case.
Adv Gundo Lidovho, representing Simon Radzuma (accused one), Adv Ntsako Hlongwane for Percy Radzuma and Adv Mpho Makhuvha for Ndivhuwo Radzuma got this request turned down by judge Thogomelani Tshidada, who said there was no reason to justify the refusal of the application on behalf of the media to cover the proceedings.
“This court is not a closed session, but is open to everyone. This court is packed to capacity, and those in attendance include family members of the deceased, friends and the community at large. If a reporter reported inaccurately, then it must be brought to the attention of the court,” said Tshidada.
He ruled that five photographs may be taken per session in court, and told the accused that they are facing life in prison should they be found guilty of the murder charges.
The three brothers are facing 34 counts, which include that of murder, attempted murder, housebreak-in with the intention to steal and theft, and hijacking among others.
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State prosecutor Adv Nnyambeni Nkhambele read out the charges, after which all three denied their involvement in any of the acts they have been accused of.
They stand accused of murdering two Samwu members of the Vhembe District Municipality in separate incidents in 2019.
Ronald Mani (50) and former union acting national president, Timpson Musetsho (50) were killed after criticising the Vhembe district’s decision to invest R300m in the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank.
Thohoyandou SAPS detective, Sgt Malapela, who visited the scene where Mani was gunned down on January 30, 2019, was the first to testify under the oath.
Court proceedings were still underway at the time of going to print.