Judge dismisses application to recuse herself from Mandela fraud trial

Judge Igna Stretch, presiding over the Nelson Mandela fraud trial on the Bhisho High Court, on Thursday dismissed an software to recuse herself from the trial.

In the dock is former Buffalo City municipal officers, administration employees, former ANC chief on the Dr WB Rubusana area, enterprise individuals and their entities.

The software for Stretch to recuse herself was lodged by accused primary Phumlani Mkolo, the previous ANC chairperson at Dr WB Rubusana area, by way of his lawyer Nyameko Diniso.

It adopted a dialog between Mkolo’s authorized defence counsel Lusindiso Matoti, the trial prosecutor Ulrike de Klerk, and Stretch within the judges’ chambers, the place Matoti indicated that there could be an software for a postponement by his shopper who desires the courtroom to attend for the result of his authorized representations to the Eastern Cape director of public prosecutions Barry Madolo.

According to Matoti, Stretch was dismissive of their intent to lodge an software, arguing that she won’t entertain any delaying techniques. She additionally made a reference to former president Jacob Zuma trial delays as one thing she wouldn’t enable in her courtroom.

Diniso lodged an software arguing that Stretch was biased and had pre-judged the supposed software as a delaying tactic earlier than it was introduced earlier than the courtroom.

He stated Stretch appeared to have shaped an opinion previous to precise data that the applying was merely dilatory delaying techniques to stall the trial from continuing.

The matter was argued on the Bhisho High Court final Friday and the applying was opposed by the prosecution group led by De Klerk.

In dismissing the applying, Stretch stated the assertion made below oath by each Mkolo and Diniso in help of the applying for her recusal is predicated on rumour of what was stated within the chambers and doesn’t take care of the context of these remarks.

She stated: “There is no reliable evidence on oath before me on what transpired in chambers. The description of oath purporting to lay this first-hand knowledge of and the reaction to what transpired in my chambers constitute inadmissible hearsay.”

The trial will resume on Tuesday.

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Johnnie Isaac

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