Cape Town – Five men charged with the kidnap of construction businessman Ismail Rajah appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court where the State was trying to link two more suspects.
Luntu Ndika-Ndika, Amosse Manyisa, Julio Langa, Elijah Silinga and Thamsanqa Mvinjelwa stand accused of abducting Rajah outside his Parow office and holding him captive for 111 days.
They face charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, attempted extortion, attempted murder, assault and intimidation.
The matter was postponed until November 3 in order to finalise a regional court date, which would see the matter going to trial.
This after State advocate Mervyn Menigo requested a remand in order to finalise their investigation on two additional suspects.
The State has yet to establish a link between the suspects and the alleged offences, but Menigo said they had been identified and were known to the State.
Defence lawyers for all accused objected to the remand on the basis that the State had had ample time to charge the additional suspects and add them to the list of accused.
Manyisa, Langa and Silinga’s lawyer, Jermaine Manuel said: “The fact that it is on the court roll for quite a long time, and the fact that it has been postponed previously for the same reasons … the defence is objecting to the postponement for those reasons as two of my accused are in custody and their liberties are being infringed upon.”
Mvinjelwa’s lawyer, Lawrence Guma, said: “We have afforded the State ample time for the tracing of the final suspects.
“My client still has his rights constitutionally enshrined for a speedy trial. Justice delayed is justice denied.”
Guma said the question of outstanding suspects had been communicated from the outset, and described the issue as a “merry-go-round” resulting in the stagnation of proceedings.
Magistrate Asanda Shasha after considering their submissions then adjourned the matter for a regional court date. She said: “We are going to postpone this matter for a month for us to obtain a regional court date.
“Within this month I believe the investigating officers will also have sufficient time to conclude their investigations.”
She said that if the suspects were not brought before court in that time frame, they could be joined at any stage of the trial at regional court.