Regional magistrate Lot Moroka has withdrawn a warrant of arrest issued against Bakgatla royals Kgafela Kgafela II and his younger brother Mmusi Kgafela.
The warrants were issued after the two could not turn up in court on Monday.
The two and thirteen others are charged with close to five counts relating to the flogging of people within the Kgatleng district.
Appearing for Kgafela and Mmusi, Advocate Sidney Pilane who referred to the duo as Kgosi Kgolo and Morena Mmusi respectively, told the court that the two did not appear because they had thought that the prosecution had acceded to their request to be excused for Monday’s hearing since they had engagements in South Africa.
He said that his clients were not wilfully in contempt of court but were labouring under the mistaken belief and had they realized their presence was sought in court they would have attended the Monday mention.
“Their failure to appear was not wilful and therefore may not amount to contempt,” argued Pilane.
Pilane told the court that the Kgafela brothers sincerely apologise to the court for not attending court on Monday.
However from the prosecution’s corner Modise David did not buy the explanation. He accused the Bakgatla royals of knowingly failing to appear before court despite the fact that the duo are trained lawyers.
David urged the court remand Kgafela and Mmusi in custody until Monday when they could formally apply for bail.
Delivering his ruling after the closing of arguments, Moroka indicated that his decision was based on the law and not on sentiment. He said that it was critical that all observed the law.
Moroka said that he was surprised by the Bakgatla royals’ non-appearance on Monday and not least because Kgafela is a renowned champion of human rights values.
“The court is however aware that the accused person has demonstrated unmitigated contrition in his non appearance”, said Moroka.
Moroka said that the purpose of the warrent of arrest was for the court to secure the attendance of the accuse person.
Moroka said that it was clear that Kgafela had never intended to disregard the court appearance.
“I am convinced by the explanation given by the defence,” said Moroka as he dispersed off the warrant against the two.