Webber murder case delayed due to Covid-19
The drawn-out trial of four men accused of murdering an elderly Kabega Park woman was further delayed on Tuesday when the Port Elizabeth High Court heard there was little chance of the matter continuing before the entire country is placed under lockdown.
Shortly after the defence closed it case, state prosecutor Marius Stander told judge Irma Schoeman a decision had been made to postpone all matters at all courts during the 21-day lockdown which will come into effect at midnight on Thursday.
Stander said attempts were being made to bring all matters to be heard between Friday and April 16 forward over the next two days and to postpone them until after the national lockdown.
This after Schoeman inquired from the state and the defence councils for Mkhuseli Ngqanda, 29, Fikile Mengo, 27, Sinethemba Nenembe, 33, and Thanduxolo Vumazonke, 23, what to do next after the defence closed its case on Tuesday.
The four are accused of killing Denise Webber, 76, who was strangled during a house robbery on August 20 2015.
They have been charged with murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
All four pleaded not guilty.
Stander told the court on Tuesday that he was unable to find a document he wished to submit to the court and which he conceded could be used to discredit Nenembe, who has been representing himself during court proceedings.
Stander said the document was an exhibit from the Jayde Panayiotou murder trial where Nenembe was found guilty of murder along with Panayiotou’s husband, Christopher.
Nenembe was convicted of murder and robbery, and received a life sentence in November 2017.
During cross-examination in the Webber trial, Nenembe refused to accept a certified copy of the document he was presented with, prompting Stander to attempt to source the original.
Stander told Schoeman most of the exhibits from the Panayiotou trial were in a digital format and that the original copy would only be sent to him by Thursday.
Schoeman told Stander she would be available during the next term and that the Webber matter could be slotted in during that time.