Bail hearing for four AMCU members postponed

10-11 January 2019

A bail hearing for four members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction (AMCU) who were arrested during the current protected strike by the Union has been postponed. The men appeared at the Oberholzer Court in Carletonville on 10 and 11 January 2019.

The four AMCU members, Yizeke Gunyazile, Malizo Khonjwayo, Hlawo Mohanoe and Masakhane Mpengesi will have to wait until Thursday, 17 January 2019 to know whether their bail application will be granted or not. They have been charged with theft of motor vehicles, public violence and robbery with aggravated circumstances. All four were arrested in Blybank on 19 December 2018 and have all pleaded not guilty to the charges that have been brought against them.

In court, the attorney representing AMCU members argued that AMCU members cannot be kept in custody when there is no evidence that has been presented to show their involvement in the incidents. He further stated that it would be unfair for the accused to remain in custody when the investigating officer himself says he cannot get hold of the witnesses. “The investigating officer has asked the court to postpone this matter twice already so that evidence can be gathered, but they are still coming back to this court with nothing that links these men to the crimes. The accused still have rights and cannot remain in custody while they try to get witnesses to cooperate,” he said.

“The investigations are still at a preliminary stage; therefore, it cannot be stated as fact that these men were involved in the incidents they are being accused of because there is no evidence. On two occasions the investigating team has been given a chance to bring the witnesses, but they have not done so on both occasions,” he said. He went on to add that he sees no reason why the court could not grant the accused bail.

The bail application was postponed to 17 January 2019 to give the magistrate time to go through the arguments that were presented by both parties in court before announcing the verdict.

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