By Anna Majavu
Members of the Anti-Crime group were not happy with this Grocott’s Mail journalist’s initial reporting on a murder case in which the accused were a leader of Makhanda’s Anti-Crime group and three alleged Anti-Crime supporters. The murder trial was set to run from 18 – 20 September in the Makhanda Magistrate’s court but could not start on 18 September because of an electricity outage affecting the court. On 19 September, the three-day trial was postponed. The case has been postponed to 20 – 22 October for trial.
While interviewing the group’s attorney, Advocate Charles Stamper, inside the court on 19 September, members of the Anti-Crime group and their supporters told me to leave the court and then surrounded me, trying to grab my phone and notebook. I was forced to run away after members of the group angrily told me they would never allow me to write about their case.
Grocott’s Mail reported in February this year that Anti-Crime group leader Luyanda Sakata, Bandile Makibi, Adam Nomfundo Makabali, and Mpithizeli Diko were charged with murder after a young man was allegedly beaten to death in public after being accused by the Anti-Crime group of house-breaking. The Anti-Crime group is also known as Neighbourhood Watch.
Stamper told Grocott’s Mail outside the courtroom that he was confident the accused would all be found not guilty as they had alibis.
“None of them were there in the actual scene where the murder occurred,” Stamper said.
Grocott’s Mail will continue to report on this story.