The accused in the Hilary Gordy case are Sipho Mhatshwa, Philemon Lukhele and Mduduzi Nkala. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, rape, murder, possession of firearms and perverting the course of justice. PHOTO: Bulelva Ginindza.
- The Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court rejected the application to amend the indictment.
- Two of the three accused in Hilary Gordy’s murder have said their prosecution was not transparent.
- The men wanted the indictment to state where and when the murder took place.
A Nelspruit magistrate on Tuesday rejected an application by a lawyer in the Hilary Gardee murder case to clearly frame charges against two of his clients.
Representing Albert Gama and Philemon Lukele, lawyer Nkobizita Mlila challenged the dates and wording in the indictment.
Mlila told the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday that the charge was unclear and confusing.
He asked the judge, Patrick Morris, to order the state to amend the indictment before he could proceed with bail applications made by the two men.
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“I want to establish whether the accused entered into a conspiracy to commit murder and when [the murder] took place from April 22 to 29. The [constitutional] the rights of the accused are essential.
“Whatever happens here will be relevant to their trial. We should know what the state says. You can’t say “on or about and between” [on a charge sheet]. This is contradictory. We need to understand what the State is saying before we testify. We must understand what the state is saying. What is the theory of the state? – asked Mlilo.
He said Lukhele and Gama faced serious charges and argued they had a constitutional right to a fair trial and the state “must tell us what they did”.
“We are aware of the responsibility that rests on us. [Why] is it difficult for the state to tell us what my clients have done? The court considers this motion for a stay in a vacuum. We strongly defend the right of the accused to a fair trial. The court should make a decision on the issues I raised,” he said.
Prosecutor lawyer Ntika Mpolweni argued that the court should dismiss Mlila’s application.
“I don’t know if the confusion is with the wording ‘between’ or (the wording) ‘on or about.’ We have to see what the court is doing. I don’t know where the confusion is. the sheet is transparent.
“Whether they want to be limited by dates is up to them. I can’t help them to prepare for their release. All we have is the defendants’ bail application to prove exceptional circumstances that they should be released on bail.” , – said Mpolweni.
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The magistrate rejected Mlilo’s application.
“Earlier I asked the defense if they were prepared to proceed with the bail application and they said they were. The accusations are clear. The court ordered that the defendants proceed with their bail application,” Morris said.
Lukele, Gama and Sipho Mhatshwa are accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering Hilary in April.
Mhatshwa has since been denied bail
The hearing continues.