- At least seven alleged Terrible Josters gangsters have been laid low by flu, which resulted in their trial being postponed.
- There was apparently also some confusion over their Covid-19 tests, with them worrying about being put in isolation.
- Four of the accused also intend bringing a new application for bail after being in custody for around five years.
The murder trial of 20 alleged Terrible Josters gang members was postponed to July after at least seven of the accused looked unwell in the Western Cape High Court, prompting the judge to order them to go for medical treatment.
However, the court heard on Wednesday there was some drama in Pollsmoor Prison when they refused to be tested for Covid-19 based on their flu symptoms.
However, one of their lawyers, Ken Klopper, said they did not refuse the testing as things were not adequately explained to them.
They were worried they might have to leave their usual cell and go into isolation, he added.
Judge James Lekhuleni quashed any talk they might be shamming, and said he could see some were visibly unwell, even subdued, earlier this week, with one shivering in a red blanket he had wrapped around himself.
This is why he ordered them to go for a medical examination on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the accused were not present in court.
One of the lawyers suggested an inquiry into “systemic delays” in the case, which include the Tactical Resource Team sometimes being redeployed at the last minute.
These specialist police officers are usually posted in and around the court to guard the large group of alleged gangsters.
However, Lekhuleni said he would rather keep the trial on track and use the available time for more witness testimony because even the accused have complained about how long it was taking.
He added that Judge President John Hlophe was dealing with the complaints he had received of police bringing the accused late to court.
The men have been on trial for around five years.
Four of the accused also want to bring a fresh bail application, which will be arranged in the meantime.
The case was postponed to 25 July.
Elton “Koffie” Lenting, as accused number one, is alleged to lead a faction of the Terrible Josters gang that operates out of Delft in Cape Town.
Also known as the TJs, their alleged second-in-command is Raymond “Muis” Arendse.
They allegedly style themselves as being in line with the 28s prison gang.
The court has already seen evidence of what the State contends is the iconography and hand signals that confirm this.
- Lorenzo Coetzee
- Moegamat Niezaam Moeniers
- Kyle Scheepers
- Warren Claasen
- Grashon Klaasen
- Bradley Roberts
- Mustaqeem Titus
- Leandro Olivier
- Lezay Luciano Booysen
- Bashier Seboa
- Luthando Mvumbi
- Wandisile Mala
- Tevin Adams
- Nathan Oscar Welcome
- Nizaam Dreyer
- Eugene Remedies
- Samuel Arendolff
- Lwazi Hlekani
They are being charged with 10 murders, numerous attempted murders, and charges relating to the recreational drugs they allegedly specialised in.