Community demand justice after two residents were allegedly gunned down

Ga-Masemola

Two suspects appeared in Nebo magistrate court on Tuesday over accusations of murder were two unarmed men were allegedly gunned down in Ga Masemola outside Global oil garage on July 3.

The suspects are believed to be security personnel hired by Global Oil Company to guard their resources at garage.

Due to the intervention of the Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) in the province accused guards were arrested on Thursday, two days after EFF, Jossey Buthane together with regional chair in Sekhukhune Moleke Senong forced fully closed the garage demanding suspects to be arrested, in support of mass community in the area.

The late Jonathan Rakgahla was buried on Friday while Richard Nchabeleng was laid to rest on Saturday.

In support of the deceased families, Masemola Taxi Association ferry its community to the court, led by its leader, Clive Mosoane.

During their arrivals at court, residents were peacefully protesting outside demanding justice saying suspects should remain behind bars.

Global company representatives had also attended the court supporting their accused members.

Magistrate told community leaders few minutes before court began that due to covid-19 only suspects would be allowed take part in the proceeding.

Upfront leader, Clive Mosoane, said he was disappointed about the announcement made by magistrate saying he thought affected family members would be permitted to see who allegedly killed their loved ones.

Not only had that disappointed Mosoane even how police officer who is in charge from Masemola police station, never updated the family after suspects were arrested. 

“I am deeply worried how this proceeding would take place without affected family members. We understand that we are in the midst of covid-19 but denying deceased family to access the court is something we really don’t understand,” concerned Mosoane said.

 Rakgahla family tried to engage with police officer who is responsible for the case but the officer said she can’t disclose information in public.

Mosoane deem local SAPS failed two families because they didn’t told about the on-going court appearance.

“We suspect that (officer in charge) she might hide something from the family. This case is not affecting only these two families but the entire community. SAPS must take this case serious,” Mosoane emphasised.

Other community member said it was the first time seeing affected family members denied access to be part of the proceedings.   

Sekhukhune Times consulted law expert, Keshnor Govender to get clarity if it was justice for court to proceed with only suspects when despite availability of affected members and she said small courts regulate by magistrate who sometimes makes scary decisions. 

Provincial spokesperson for SAPS, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed that the police have opened case of murder because two people were killed.

Mojapelo also explained that suspects made their first appearance at Nebo magistrate court on Tuesday.

He confirmed that in any cases the investigators are forced to conduct the affected families to ask them query or to give them uptade if any developments raise.

“Investigators have to inform and uptade the family about the development of the investigations. If the investigators didn’t inform the family in this case then we will look at it internally,” Mojapelo explained

Asked about decision took by magistrate Mojapelo said: “Magistrates have power to regulate court, therefore any decision took by magistrate has to be respected, however everyone is allowed inside the court,”

He adds: “As police we only maintain orders in court,”

Mojapelo said investigations are still continue.   

Thapelo Motseo

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