Case of top cops in Zimbabwean rendition postponed

THE  Pretoria Magistrate’s Court today  Friday postponed the case against the former head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat, and two senior colleagues, charged with the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans.

Dramat and suspended Gauteng Hawks boss, Major General Shadrack Sibiya, and the Hawks Colonel, Lesley Maluleke, appeared on Friday when the matter was postponed to August 19 to finalise the issue of financial assistance to cover legal representation.

The three defendents made an application to the police ministry for financial assistance, arguing that the alleged crimes were committed during the course of their official duties.

Dramat and his co-accused are facing four counts of kidnapping, two counts of defeating the ends of justice and one count of contravention of the Immigration Act, for their alleged involvement in the arrest of seven Zimbabwean immigrants and subsequent handing over four of these fugitives to the Zimbabwean police for arrest in November 2010 and January 2011.

The State informed the court that the two defence lawyers, Advocate Vincent Pienaar, representing Maluleke, and Advocate Naume Manaka, representing Sibiya and Dramat, had agreed to postpone the case to August in anticipation of the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko’s response on the accused’s application for financial assistance.

“The case was postponed to today for the outcome of the application by the accused to the Minister of Police for financial assistance. The application is still pending to the minister, the minister has acknowledged receipt and he is still considering the application.

“We have indicated in the previous appearance that we would serve the final indictment today. However, in the light of the fact that the question of legal representation has not been finalised, we would uphold on serving the indictment but we have agreed on a date of 19 August in this court again,” the State prosecutor told the court.

The accused’s bail of R5,000 each was extended, while the date for the matter to be heard at the North Gauteng High Court has already been s et down for from 10 October to early December.  –ANA