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Trial against Glebelands to resume

The group faces 22 charges including murder, attempted murder, and racketeering.

The Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi outside Durban in November 2015. Picture: Gallo Images/Daily Dispatch/Sino Majangaza

DURBAN - The trial against the so-called Glebelands eight will resume in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday morning.

The group faces 22 charges including murder, attempted murder, and racketeering.

They’re accused of running an extortion racket at Glebelands hostel in Durban, which led to the other crimes.

One of the central figures in the trial is former police officer Bhekukwazi Mdweshu.

Mdweshu is believed to be the kingpin of the extortion racket, who allegedly abused his position by accessing crucial information, including the court appearance dates of witnesses, and then ordering their killings.

A protected witness, who’s been testifying since last Tuesday, shared details about how he would extort money from hostel residents at the instruction of the former cop. He said this money was to be used to buy firearms, ammunition, and to pay off police.

But Mdweshu’s advocate, Martin Krog, sought to poke holes in the witness’ testimony, saying he failed to include some of the allegations in his chief evidence before.

The cross-examination was set to continue on Thursday.

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