Home South Africa Five alleged illegal mining bosses seek bail hearing by judge

Five alleged illegal mining bosses seek bail hearing by judge

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Six illegal kings during the Carltonville trial.

  • Five alleged illegal mining kingpins want a judge to throw out their bail proceedings.
  • The men claim that MMagistrate Howard Raat will be biased against them.
  • Raat had earlier refused to grant bail to their co-accused.

Concerns about bias prompted five of the six alleged illegal mining wires to apply to have a Carltonville judge recused from their bail proceedings.

Betuel Ngobeni, Nhlanhla Magwaka, Moseki Sechele, Thabo Sechele and Hudzai Mashaya applied for bail before Judge Howard Raat at the Oberholzer Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

However, through their lawyers, they argued that Raat would be prejudiced against them because of a comment he made during the bail hearing of their co-accused, Dumisani Moyo, which he rejected.

Ngobeni’s lawyer, F. Mashele, explained to the court in detail why Raat should stand down.

“I am teaching Ngobeni rights in the Constitution. This Court was dealing with a lengthy bail application procured by Moyo. The court later ruled on the bail application. The court is now aware of the facts of the case. this court should have continued my client’s bail [hearing], it may be biased. The court is facing prejudice,” Machele said.

He added that Ngobeni was troubled by a comment that Raat made in the Moyo case that “zama zamas are a problem in the country”.

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“These comments put the court in a position of bias. In its ruling, the court said it denied bail because the charge was impressive. The same accusation did not apply to Moyo alone, but to all the accused.

“The state did not call an investigator to oppose bail. The state has argued that all the accused are linked in an investigation that began in 2018. The court then ruled that the accused were related [to the crime]. The facts of the case are known to the court. I submit, with respect, a statement on the dismissal of the chairman.”

Machele continued that the appeals of the judges were discussed in various courts of the country.

Zama zamas

“The recusal should not be seen as an insult or an undermining of the court. The court said zama zamas are problematic in Carltonville, Port Elizabeth and Mpumalanga. Will the court change its attitude and be objective? The answer is no.

“Zama zamas are people who live in South Africa. The constitution protects them. They are marked as problematic.”

“The fact that the court made the comments shows that it is already biased against them. They will never have a free and fair trial.”

He added that court officials should always be sensitive.

“The court is compromised and is in a contradictory position. The court should consider recusing himself from this case. This court will never be prejudiced if another court hears the application.

“After hearing Moyo’s hearing, the court claimed that it knew nothing about the other bail applications. This is not true. The indictment in court is very detailed. an undercover operation in the capture of the accused. The court knows everything,” Machele added.

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The other legal representatives, B. M. Machele, N. Machele and attorney Jürg Huysamen, agreed with Machele.

Moyo, Ngobeni, Secheles, Magwaka and Mashaya were arrested in Hutsong and Carltonville last month following the Hawks investigation, which began in 2018.

Levels

They are reported to be level 2 and 3 in an illegal mining syndicate.

Those in levels 2 and 3 buy precious metal materials from zama zamas, process the materials and sell them to level 4 and 5 members located outside the country.

The six defendants are charged with fraud, possession of ammunition, possession of drugs, money laundering, violations of the Immigration Act and the Precious Metals Act.

The hearing continues.


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