‘Due to the ur­gency of the mat­ter I have de­cided to rep­re­sent my­self’

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - NEWS - SANDI KWON HOO CHIEF RE­PORTER

ONE OF the ac­cused who is stand­ing trial for the mur­der of Daniel­skuil DA coun­cil­lor, Jo­hannes Baatjies, and a fam­ily friend, Jef­frey Nouse, will be mak­ing an­other at­tempt to ob­tain bail in the North­ern Cape High Court next week.

The ac­cused – Richard Hasane, Tshame Frank Bax­ane, Zonizelo Richard Ma­gawu, Thomp­son Mnce­disi Mphon­domisa and Matthews Le­godu – have all pleaded not guilty to charges of mur­der, kid­nap­ping and the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a .9mm firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.

Baatjies’ body was found on the road be­tween Daniel­skuil and Post­mas­burg with mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds, a day be­fore he was to be sworn in as a coun­cil­lor at the Kgatelopele Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 2016.

Nouse was found with gun­shots to the face and died in hos­pi­tal a few days later.

Ma­gawu, who rep­re­sented him­self in the North­ern Cape High Court yes­ter­day, ex­plained that the mat­ter had to be heard this week on an ur­gent ba­sis, as he risked los­ing his job if he re­mained in cus­tody.

“My at­tor­ney who is rep­re­sent­ing me in the crim­i­nal mat­ter, is not avail­able and could not as­sist with this ap­pli­ca­tion.

“It would also re­quire money and it would be a long process to make an­other ap­pli­ca­tion to Le­gal Aid South Africa.”

He added that he did not want his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive to rep­re­sent him on this mat­ter.

“My con­tract will be ter­mi­nated this week if I am not back at work. Due to the ur­gency of the mat­ter I have de­cided to rep­re­sent my­self. I gave in­struc­tions to my at­tor­ney but he did not ad­here to it.”

Se­nior state prose­cu­tor Ad­vo­cate Hannes Cloete ar­gued that the mat­ter was not ur­gent and stated that the ap­pli­ca­tion had not been pre­pared in a proper man­ner.

“Ma­gawu will have to es­tab­lish new grounds on which to base his ap­pli­ca­tion in the North­ern Cape High Court. Al­ter­na­tively, he should ap­peal the out­come of the most re­cent judge­ment on his bail ap­pli­ca­tion in the Supreme Court of Ap­peal.”

Act­ing North­ern Cape High Court Judge Stephen Groe­newaldt in­di­cated that the firm that he was as­so­ci­ated with – Tow­ell and Groe­newaldt At­tor­neys – had acted as in­struct­ing at­tor­neys rep­re­sent­ing the ac­cused in Novem­ber 2017.

“There­fore it would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for me to hear this mat­ter as it would not be in the best in­ter­ests of jus­tice for me to pre­side over this ap­pli­ca­tion.”

He ad­vised Ma­gawu to first con­sult with and to prefer­ably utilise the ser­vices of his le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

He cau­tioned that ev­i­dence pre­sented in the bail hear­ing, could be used against Ma­gawu, if it be­came rel­e­vant, dur­ing the crim­i­nal trial.

Groe­newaldt post­poned the mat­ter un­til next week, where an­other act­ing judge will be ap­pointed to pre­side over the case.

by air in the pipe. “In some in­stances it has been shown that this is the case but it is not across the board and not all me­ters are af­fected. There might be some in­stances where this hap­pens but it is mainly with older me­ters.”

He added that in these in­stances, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would take an av­er­age read­ing to de­ter­mine an es­ti­mated con­sump­tion of wa­ter. “We will look at how much the cus­tomer has used in the three months prior to the wa­ter be­ing cut off at night, so for ex­am­ple June to Oc­to­ber last year, to de­ter­mine the av­er­age con­sump­tion of that house­hold.

“What we re­ally wish for is a fair value where cus­tomers pay for the wa­ter they have used. All dis­putes will be looked at on a case by case ba­sis. We do know that there are oth­ers who, even if their me­ters are cor­rect, will try to take ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion.”

Mat­sie added that the mat­ter had been re­ferred to the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor re­spon­si­ble who would look in­ves­ti­gate to­gether with the fi­nance sec­tion.

“There are clearly con­flict­ing opin­ions re­gard­ing this is­sue within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity but we will be guided by the pol­icy, where we will look into cases re­ported to us. There will also be fur­ther dis­cus­sions by the rel­e­vant of­fi­cials in an at­tempt to re­solve this is­sue.”

He stated fur­ther that there were also in­stances were me­ters were faulty or they were stuck. “In these sit­u­a­tions we will re­place the me­ters, which like all me­chan­i­cal de­vices, can fail on oc­ca­sion. There are even in­stances were me­ters are stolen.

“Where this hap­pens, we will also look at the av­er­age con­sump­tion over a pe­riod of three months, to de­ter­mine an es­ti­mated amount owed by the con­sumer.”

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