There was drama at the Nelspruit magistrate’s court on Thursday morning as a man entered the courtroom carrying positive Covid-19 results.
The man had come to attend the double murder and attempted murder case against former Mpumalanga agriculture MEC Mandla Msibi and five other co-accused. Msibi is also suspended in his role of election manager for the ANC in Mpumalanga.
People attending the court had to wait outside for some time before the case could start as security personnel told attendees that there’s a man who entered the court and they found out that he was carrying positive Covid-19 results.
“You can’t enter now as they are verifying if indeed the man’s results are recent,” one security personnel told Sowetan.
The court was reopened after about an hour, however, there was another one hour delay when the clerk learned that the court’s recording machine was broken.
Msibi and other five men Njabulo Shugulugu Mkhonto, Buddah Mdluli, Anele Mnisi, Tsepo Matsane and Charlie Ngwenya are facing two counts of murder and an attempted murder case.
Their arrest came after an August 22 incident outside Coyotes Shisa Nyama in Mbombela in which Sindela Sipho Lubisi and Dingaan Ngwenya were killed. Sfiso Mpila was injured.
They have all pleaded not guilty and are out on R20,000 bail each.
Bused community members and ANC members flooded the Bester Street outside the court singing Struggle songs and chanting “Free Msibi” and some were carrying placards written “Msibi is innocent”.
When the case eventually resumed state prosecutor Leane Jones told the court that the state was asking for a postponement for finalisation of the indictment.
“The case was postponed for further investigation and also a decision from the national director of prosecutions (NDPP), however the NDPP said we should request a postponement for finalisation of the indictment,” said Jones.