The eight men face charges of murder, attempted murder, extortion for their alleged creation of a syndicate and also illegally collecting money from community members.
The Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi outside Durban in November 2015. Picture: Gallo Images/Daily Dispatch/Sino Majangaza
PIETERMARITZBURG – The trial against a police detective and seven other suspected hitmen has been postponed until Wednesday after it emerged that three of the accused failed to pay their advocate.
The eight men face charges of murder, attempted murder and extortion for their alleged creation of a syndicate with the common purpose of killing residents who threatened their control of the hostel.
It’s understood the group would also illegally collect money from community members which were meant to be collated by block committee leaders.
Over 100 killings since 2014 have been linked to alleged hitmen who live at the Umlazi hostel and this year alone, three deaths have been reported at Glebelands.
Monday was supposed to be the beginning of the trial against the eight accused but Advocate Jimmy Howse who has been representing three of the suspects was not present in the courtroom.
Through the instructing attorney, Andile Dakela, it emerged that the trio had failed to pay Howse his legal fees and had changed their lawyers.
Dakela also proposed that his name be struck off the roll in this matter, citing non-payment as well.
But both the new legal team did not pitch up in court leading to Judge Jerome Mnguni postponing the matter to this Wednesday where more clarity on who the new advocate is.
The other five suspects are understood to be represented by Legal Aid.
(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)