The marathon case in which the paramount chief of Bakgatla, accused with some of his tribesmen of illegally flogging people under his authority, suffered a setback Monday due to the absence of an interpreter who was engaged in another court at the very same time.
“As usual, I apologise for the delay,” said Magistrate Barnabas Nyamadzabo. “The interpreter in the case was engaged in yet another case and, as such, the case could not resume on time.”
Kgafela Kgafela and his co-accused want Nyamadzabo to recuse himself, insisting in their application that he was biased against them in favour of the state.
Worse still, the prosecution team, whilst admitting some points for recusal, needed ample time to set straight some arguments raised by the applicants prompting a postponement.
“The state initially opted for a non-opposition for the application but we have since changed our stance because of the issues raised during the application. We want to clarify and correct some issues on record so that there is no doubt as to the state position,” said Susan Mangori, the leading state prosecutor, responding to Kgafela’s query.
Kgafela was worried the state was dilly-dallying over the matter.
Under the guise of maintaining and protecting traditional values, Kgafela, his brother Mmusi Kgafela, Deputy Chief Bana Sekai and their tribesmen found themselves at the receiving end, accused of the illegal floggings in the Kgatleng District.
They were remanded in custody by Nyamadzabo pending trial only to be rescued by the High Court.
Besides his recusal, Kgafela and his team want the case to be transferred to Mochudi, the place where the alleged floggings occurred.
The hearing will resume earnestly on September 21st.