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State urges Justice of the Peace to not recuse himself from bail listening to of 5 unlawful mining kingpins

Six unlawful kingpins throughout their courtroom look in Carletonville.

PHOTO: Ntwaagae Seleka, News24

  • The state argued in opposition to the recusal of a Justice of the Peace earlier than listening to the bail purposes of 5 unlawful mining kingpins.
  • It claimed there have been no grounds for the Justice of the Peace to be faraway from the matter.
  • The accused introduced an software claiming the courtroom was biased.

A prosecutor pleaded with a Carletonville Justice of the Peace to not recuse himself within the bail listening to of 5 alleged unlawful mining kingpins.

The accused took difficulty with the Justice of the Peace’s reference to “zama zamas” (unlawful miners) being problematic in Carletonville, Port Elizabeth and Mpumalanga.

The Justice of the Peace, Howard Raath, made this remark throughout the bail software of Eric Dumisa Moyo, which was denied final month within the Oberholzer Justice of the Peace’s Court docket. 

His 5 co-accused – Bethuel Ngobeni, Nhlanhla Magwaca, Moseki Sechele, Thabo Sechele and Khudzai Mashaya – initially deserted their bail bids, with solely Moyo continuing along with his software.

READ | Five alleged illegal mining kingpins seek magistrate’s recusal from bail hearing

After Moyo was denied bail, the 5, in an about-turn, made purposes of their very own.

Addressing the courtroom on Wednesday, the prosecutor, Tholoana Sekhonyana, mentioned the alleged kingpins’ legal professionals individually introduced comparable info when asking for Raath to recuse himself.

“Throughout Moyo’s bail software, the State known as the Division of House Affairs’ immigration officer, Mothusi Letsogo. The officer solely testified about Moyo as he was knowledgeable to take action.

“It’s illogical to say the info on Moyo’s bail listening to would impression the appliance by the opposite accused. The State addressed the courtroom {that a} covert operation started in 2018 linking [all of] them to the crimes.”

Sekhonyana claimed there have been no info that confirmed bias in opposition to the candidates.

“Moyo was additionally linked [to the offence] by means of video and audio. For the courtroom to recuse itself, it should be perceived as biased. How can Moyo’s authorized standing within the nation and the exparte deal with be [described as] bias?

“Their (legal professionals’) deal with was insubstantial. After I appeared on the earlier information, I did not see the phrase zama zamas. Nevertheless, this courtroom is coping with issues involving zama zamas every day.

“There was nothing fallacious with the courtroom mentioning the phrase zama zamas. The courtroom was mentioning judicial discover that zamas zamas are prevalent in its jurisdiction.”

READ | One of 6 alleged illegal mining kingpins fraudulently obtained ID, court hears

Sekhonyana argued that the listening to was totally different to the one wherein a Justice of the Peace heard a bail software and later the trial in opposition to one individual. 

“For the courtroom to recuse itself, there should be a battle of curiosity. On this case, there isn’t any bias or a battle of curiosity. The Justice of the Peace doesn’t know the info of the case in addition to studying the cost sheet.

“The courtroom additionally does not understand how the 5 candidates are linked. The applying should not be entertained,” Sekhonyana mentioned.

Ngobeni’s lawyer, F Mashele, claimed that their recusal software shouldn’t be seen as an insult or to undermine the courtroom. 

Mashele mentioned that when denying Moyo bail, Raath mentioned zama zamas had been problematic in Carletonville, Port Elizabeth and Mpumalanga.

“… the truth that the courtroom has made feedback reveals the courtroom is already prejudiced in direction of them. They are going to by no means have a free and honest trial. The courtroom is compromised and in a conflicted place,” Mashele mentioned.

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He added that such statements triggered discomfort to his consumer.

Different legal professionals concurred with Mashele, accusing Raath of being biased, and asking for his recusal.

The six males had been arrested final month following an investigation by the Hawks, which began in 2018.

They had been arrested in Khutsong and Carletonville.

Throughout their arrest, 14 high-performance automobiles and a truck had been confiscated.

READ | Mine graft: Alleged illegal mining ringleader described as reserved, humble and loving by neighbour

Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale reported that the lads occupied ranges 2 and three within the unlawful mining syndicate.

“The degrees 2 and three purchase valuable metal-bearing materials from zama zamas, course of and promote it to the extent 4 and 5 members,” Mogale mentioned.

The alleged kingpins are going through prices of fraud, possession of ammunition, possession of medicine, cash laundering and contravention of the Immigration Act and Valuable Metals Act.

Judgment has been reserved till 29 November.

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