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Frustration as Palesa Madiba’s alleged killer shows up without a lawyer

Magistrate Zweli Zwakhe warned Dumisani Mkhwanazi that the court wouldn’t tolerate any more excuses preventing proceedings from getting under way.

Forensic pathologists on scene where the remains of Palesa Madiba were found in a shallow grave at a friend's home in Soweto in December 2015. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Dramatic scenes unfolded at the Protea Magistrates Court on Wednesday with the magistrate presiding over the Palesa Madiba murder case lashing out at the accused for failing to have a lawyer present at his court appearance.

Magistrate Zweli Zwakhe warned Dumisani Mkhwanazi that the court wouldn’t tolerate any more excuses preventing proceedings from getting under way.

The matter was postponed to next week Wednesday.

The magistrate was visibly annoyed with Mkhwanazi, who presented himself to the court without a lawyer.

Zwakhe warned Mkhwanazi, who is accused of murdering Madiba and disposing of her body, that the court wouldn’t put up with his behaviour for much longer.

He said it was suspicious that Mkhwanazi didn’t know his lawyer’s name and after a four-hour delay, police couldn’t get hold of him.

Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said they shared the magistrate’s frustration.

“He warned the accused firmly about his failure to secure legal representation up until this date. The court indicated it cannot delay the matter indefinitely,” she said.

Mkhwanazi said he didn’t understand why his lawyer wasn’t in court after he was already paid.

MADIBA’S FAMILY FRUSTRATED

Madiba’s family said they were disappointed by the latest delay.

Her uncle Thabiso Tsoledi said they suspected Mkhwanazi was frustrating the process.

“Obviously, we will be biased towards this, however, one never knows what the facts are. Him and his supposed lawyer - if he does exist - are the only ones who would know.”

But he said they would wait as long as it took to get answers.

“We ideally would like to suspend our feelings although we are not robots, we are human beings, we are relatively frustrated but we remain patient.”

[FROM THE ARCHIVES] Palesa Madiba’s remains handed over to her family

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