Court chaos as Legal Aid lawyers strike
Witnesses turned away and cases shunted to new dates owing to nationwide action over a cut in employee benefits
In the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Monday, the robbery case of the state against Paulos Simelane and co-accused Siyabulela Gqwaka had to be postponed to September 12. The three state witnesses had to turn back, a morning wasted as they were unable to testify.
In an adjacent courtroom, two witnesses – a doctor and a police officer – had to be turned away because the rape case they were called to testify in had to be pushed to September 13.
Similarly, the three state witnesses in the state’s case against Bongani Mbele and co-accused Siyabonga Mthembu, who were supposed to appear in connection with the hijacking of a motor vehicle and possession of three illegal firearms, had to be turned away...