Regional Magistrate, Lot Moroka, has issued a warrant of arrest for Bakgatla Paramount Chief Kgafela Kgafela and his younger brother, Mmusi Kgafela, and 13 other tribesmen, after they failed to appear in Court on Monday morning, as per summons.
Issuing the warrant of arrest, Moroka said that he saw no reason for the accused persons to have failed to appear before the Court because.
The Magistrate said they were aware that they were supposed to appear in Court on Monday.
Their failure to appear established a prima facie case for contempt of Court beyond reasonable doubt, he said.
On Pilane’s submission that he had been instructed by Kgafela Kgafela and his brother that they would like mention against them to be suspended, Moroka said that the prosecution is not disputing that they had been informed about that on Friday afternoon but that Kgosi Kgafela and Mmusi, being practicing attorneys themselves, understood Court procedures quite well and the consequences of disobeying Court orders and that there can be no excuses for disregarding Court orders.
Turning to the 13 tribesmen, Moroka said that since it is said that they had referred the matter to their dikgosi, they cannot then claim that they could not appear for hearing afterwards as the impression this creates is that they will only come if their dikgosi said so.
Moroka further said that it would be improper to start any form of negotiations after the summons for appearance had been issued, stressing that such a thing would “compromise the credibility of our Courts” and that he would not be a party to the surrendering of the responsibility of the judiciary, which states that all are equal before Courts, including the State President.
Moroka said he therefore rejected the submission made by Pilane on why his clients had not appeared in Court and ordered that they be remanded till Monday next week.