JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The pre-trial of the alleged murderer of slain University of Johannesburg (UJ) student Palesa Madiba has been postponed after his lawyer failed to show up in court.
Dumisani Mkhwanazi, 36, arrived to the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday morning to find his lawyer was not present.
When asked whether he would require legal aid to continue with the pre-trial, the accused indicated that he had already paid his counsel.
The matter was subsequently postponed to get a lawyer on record and for pre-trial.
Madiba went missing following a sleepover at her friend Tshidi Mkhwanazi’s home in Phiri, Soweto, on August 9, 2013. She never returned.
Tshidi is the niece of the accused.
When asked by Madiba’s relatives about the whereabouts of their daughter, Mkhwanazi told them she had last seen her on August 12, 2013, when she left her best friend at her Phiri home that morning.
Her body was found on December 16, 2015, in a shallow grave behind the home after a neighbour noticed an arm protruding from the ground, News24 reported.
Mkhwanazi was initially taken in for questioning by police, but was later released.
Further reported that he also obtained a restraining order from Madiba’s relatives, claiming they were harassing him.
Fast forward to July 29, 2019, and the police arrested him on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
The pre-trial will commence on November 8.
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