Murder accused wants to be tried in Zimbabwe

A man accused of raping his former girlfriend and beating her new boyfriend to death has demanded that his trial be transferred to his home country of Zimbabwe.

This after he refused to cooperate with proceedings yesterday and blatantly disobeyed the judge presiding over his matter.

The accused, 30, who is a l re a d y serving a 12-year sentence for robbery with aggravating circumstances, appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Department of Correctional Services officials, armed with pepper spray and riot shields, stood on either side of the dock. He faces two counts of rape, murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and housebreaking with the intent to assault. He can only be named once he has pleaded at the start of his trial.

According to the charge sheet before court, the accused went to the Motherwell house where his ex-girlfriend was staying with her new boyfriend, kicked down the door, went into their bedroom and beat the boyfriend to death with an iron rod while he slept. He then kidnapped his ex-girlfriend and took her to a friend’s shack about 2km away, where he raped her twice.

While at the house where the murder took place, the accused also stabbed another woman, who in turn threw a kettle filled with boiling water in his face. At a previous court appearance, the accused refused to leave the holding cells and enter the courtroom, threatening to fight with court officials.

Yesterday, there were shackles around his wrists and ankles. This time he refused to listen to any orders from court officials or Judge Mandela Makaula.

While other matters were being postponed, he stood in the dock despite being told to sit down. And when his matter was called he sat down and refused to stand when Makaula ordered him to. He refused to recognise Legal Aid attorney Khaya Saziwa as his representative and demanded that his shackles be removed.

Makaula said such an application could only be made with proper legal representation and if he cooperated with the court.

“I did not come here to cooperate with anyone. I do not want to be here. “I do not even understand why I am here,” the man said.

“Being chained on earth is not the same as being chained in heaven. “I cannot express myself, and tell you what is coming from the bottom of my heart while I am chained like this.

“This case needs to be transferred to my country, where I will not be tied up like this.” Saziwa withdrew as the man’s attorney.

A patient Makaula warned the accused that the Criminal Procedure Act made provision for such situations and the trial could proceed without his cooperation. “My advice is that you cooperate so your requests and application can be heard. If you do not, dire consequences could follow.

“But it is up to you. You know your rights, it is your choice to exercise them or not,”Makaula said.

The matter was postponed to November 20 for the man to receive legal representation and for a trial date to be set.

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