Court Week [3/5]


*heavy sigh*

Had a pretty slow day today, so slow I rested my eyes for a good five minutes *bbm can’t watch*

After getting a R200 parking fine yesterday I was rather reluctant to go back to the High Court but my curiosity got the better of me. I went along with a colleague who also wanted to find out how the rest of the trial would turn out.

In retrospect I should have listened to that little niggly feeling I had on the drive over. Firstly the judge was 20 minutes late, then when he eventually got there we realised that the first witness for the day was also late. So we incurred an extra fifteen minutes of idle chit chat.

When things eventually got underway it was evident that the witness had had time to consider his testimony last night and had very curt answers. The already irritated judge was also quite short with everyone and did not see the need to drag the trial out any longer.

His attempts were in vain though, when the plaintiff took the stand he was up there for an hour straight before they even got to the defense’s cross examination.

The only new information we learnt in those two hours included the fact that “Zola Budd” is the name for a Toyota Hi Ace taxi and that apparently when one police officer arrests someone, all officers present are arresting said person. Illuminating stuff.

I then had a quick lunch at The Guildhall, cnr Market and Harrison street in town. Had the best and cheapest pizza there. Only a scale of 1 to relevant that was probably a zero but oh well.

Anyway thereafter I went off to a trial at the Magistartes Court. It was one of the more dry one’s I have been to this week – but I had to trudge one because our deadline was looming ever closer. Here’s what I managed to get together by deadline this evening:


*disclaimer: Our co-ordinator, Kenichi Serino said how we write our individual stories depends on which paper you would be writing for. For this one, I’m writing for the Daily Sun.

*Names changed to protect identities

Pheladi Sethusa

A courtroom at the Johannesburg Magistates Court turned into an examination room yesterday afternoon, as Sam* (36) walked around to show his scar to the magistrate and attorney’s.

Sam was robbed at gunpoint and assaulted by three men in Cleveland, Johannesburg on July 17, 2012. The men made off with his cell phone and dignity, leaving a bloodied Sam at the bottom of a hill.

“They hit me with what I assume was a brick. I started bleeding and the spectacles I was wearing broke,” testified Sam. He said he fell to the ground as he felt dizzy and could not see.

This is when he left the witness stand to show the magistrate, defence attorney Mendes* and prosecuting attorney Shaka*, the scar above his brow.

“The old scar has been noted,” was Mendes’s reply to the physical evidence.

The cross examination by attorney Mendes focused on Sam’s description of the man in the dock, Sechaba* (21).

In Sam’s statement and testimony he could only remember one of his attackers clearly. This was a man with a dark complexion, short hair, medium build and more distinctively a white shirt and earrings.

Mendes stressed the fact that his client had only one pierced ear and hardly ever wore an earring in his pierced ear.

He also mentioned that Sam had only seen his face partially, therefore he couldn’t be sure that Sechaba was one his attackers.

“I could see him clearly as he cocked the firearm,” said Sam.

The Daily Sun reporter noticed that one of Sechaba’s supporters in the court stands was a man with two piercings, a dark complexion and a medium build.

Sechaba has been in custody for just under a year, he had to spend another night in custody as court adjourned due to time constraints. Court will resume at 8.30am on May 23 to hear more from witnesses.