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Catholic priest placed off remand

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HWANGE — Lupane Roman Catholic priest Father Marko Mnkandla was yesterday placed off remand after the State failed to provide witnesses alleged to have been at a mass which he convened for Gukurahundi victims.

Provincial magistrate, Rose Dube, ruled that Mkandla’s case will proceed by way of summons.

Mnkandla’s lawyer, Lizwe Jamela of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) applied for refusal of further remand after waiting for witnesses to arrive for the better part of the day.

The magistrate granted the application and removed Mnkandla from remand.

Mnkandla was not asked to plead, but had indicated that he was not admitting to convening a public meeting without notifying the police and possessing pornographic material.

He was arrested on April 13 last year, and appeared in court in leg irons, alongside National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister, Moses Mzila Ndlovu, facing charges of contravening the Public Order and Security Act (Posa).

Mnkandla was being charged of convening an illegal meeting at Silwane Primary School, publishing falsehoods against the State, publicising hate speech against the Shona and possessing pornographic material.

The priest has been out of custody on $500 bail.
Mzila Ndlovu’s trial for addressing the meeting is set to start in mid April and he is yet to plead.

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