Alleged killers of Bronkhorstspruit policeman back in court

African News Agency (ANA)

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PRETORIA – The defence lawyer representing two men accused of killing Pretoria Flying Squad police constable Max Lekalakala during a shoot-out with police on a Pretoria highway in March, told the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s court on Thursday that he would not continue representing one of the accused.

Advocate Steve Sekwele, representing Lucky Madiba and Mpho Mohlala, told Magistrate Maryke de la Rey that he was withdrawing his representation for accused number one, Madiba, because he was not able to pay for his legal fees.

According to Sekwele there were unresolved payment issues with Madiba and the parties had agreed to part ways as a result. Madiba subsequently acquired the services of Legal Aid lawyer, Christinah Mabena, who told the magistrate that Madiba’s application for legal assistance had been successful and that she would represent him further in the case.

State Prosecutor, Barbara Ndela requested that the matter be postponed to June for further investigation and told the court that although the state had completed gathering all evidence on the case, DNA results were still pending from the forensic laboratory.

Sekwele and Mabena did not oppose Ndela’s request for the matter to be postponed to June. However De la Rey warned that forensic laboratory test results may take up to 120 days which could mean that the trial may only be heard much later.

According to Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, the spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), who are investigating the case, the DNA results could be expedited due to the nature and priority of the crime.

“Although there is some backlog within our forensic laboratories, this is a high priority case. We would want to complete it as soon as possible and these test results could be expedited. We work very closely with the prosecution, it is both our wish to conclude this matter urgently and we
are aiming for a successful prosecution, so the results might be ready in a month or two.”

Madiba and Mohlala are facing numerous charges including murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed ammunition, possession of stolen cellphones, robbery with aggravating circumstances, using a vehicle without the owner’s consent, kidnapping and motor vehicle theft.

They were arrested following their alleged involvement in the shoot-out with the Silverton Flying Squad members where three of their accomplices were also killed.

It is alleged that the flying squad members spotted a suspicious looking Toyota RunX along the N4/eMalahleni just after the Diamond Hill Toll Plaza at around 02h00 on March 2 and when they stopped and approached the car, which had five occupants, they were greeted with hail of bullets, which left 32-year-old Lekalakala dead.

The matter was postponed to June 13.

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