Trial for MRP members set for tomorrow

The trial for five Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) members who were last week arrested for public violence outside the Bulawayo High Court is set to resume tomorrow.

Partrone Xaba (43), Akim Ndebele (32), Prince Ncube (28), Ndabezinhle Ncube (38) and Mongameli Mlotshwa (38) are facing charges of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence.

The MRP members, through their lawyer Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi-Ncube law chambers, pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Bulawayo provincial magistrate, Franklin Mkhwananzi, remanded them to September 4, 2019 for trial.

Mlotshwa had also appeared separately in the same court facing an assault charge where he is alleged to have beaten a police officer.

State prosecutor, Mufaro Mageza told the court that on August 28, 2019 that the accused were gathered outside the High Court where Ntabazinduna Chief Ndiweni’s bail hearing was in progress.

The prosecutor alleged they started singing a vernacular song using the Ndebele language while waving placards written “Free Ndiweni, Ndiweni’s life is in danger, we want justice…..”

Mageza said the accused people were caught on camera by police photographers from the Criminal Investigation Department who had been deployed.

Mageza said Mlotshwa assaulted Wellington Masuna, a police officer who had been deployed to monitor rowdy crowds on the day.

“Masuna, who was wearing civilian attire, received a phone call. While on the phone Mlotshwa called him a thief. He started pushing Masuna and tried to strike him with his hand but failed since Masuna had turned and grabbed him by the belt. He then kicked Masuna once on the stomach,” said Mageza.

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