Wed, 23 Jun 2021

On Monday, KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Natasha Kara said the State had brought a postponement application for further investigations as there were several outstanding aspects of investigation.

"This includes voluminous downloads and cellphone analysis. At the time when the accused were arrested, there was a large number of cellphones recovered, which has resulted in the extensive investigation," Kara said.

Postponement to finalise investigation

The State presented an argument for postponement in order to finalise the investigation. A trial could not proceed without this investigation being completed as a matter of this nature requires extensive investigation.

Kara said a prosecutor has a duty to ensure all necessary evidence required to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt be obtained before setting the matter for trial.

"There have been numerous engagements between the investigators and prosecution in this matter. Senior Magistrate Irfaan Khalil declined the State's application and struck the matter off the court roll, citing unreasonable delays as he found the matter had been on the court roll for almost two years.

"He also stated that the prejudice to the accused was that they were ostracised in society."

'Jubilant celebration'

The court further ruled that once the investigation is completed the State will have to obtain the authority of the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal to reinstate a prosecution against the accused in this matter.

"The matter is being closely monitored and worked on together by the SAPS and the prosecutors of the Organised Crime Office of the NPA. Investigations will continue," Kara added.

TimesLIVE reported that Hoomer, Ahmed Haffejee‚ Goolam Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda‚ Mohamad Akbar‚ Seiph Mohamed‚ Amani Mayani‚ Abubakar Ali‚ Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin‚ Ndikumana Shabani and Iddy Omari celebrated jubilantly moments after their case was struck from the roll.

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