BAIL conditions for former Mthwakazi Liberation Front (MLF) secretary-general John Gazi were not relaxed alongside those of his co-accused, Paul Siwela and Charles Thomas, whose applications were reviewed by the Attorney-General (AG)’s Office last week.
Report by Sials Nkala
On Thursday, Gazi told NewsDay that his lawyer Sabelo Sibanda had gone out of the country after submitting an application for relaxation of bail conditions which included the return of his passport to enable him to travel to South Africa for medication.
“The outcome of the application has not been communicated to me,” Gazi said.
“I made a follow-up with the AG’s Office and the Law and Order offices where we report thrice a week and I was told that my bail conditions are still the same. Therefore, I am still waiting for my lawyer to return from South Africa to see if he can reapply and have all the conditions lifted.”
In response to an application for variation of bail conditions by Siwela and Thomas at the Bulawayo High Court last week, Martha Cheda from the AG said she would not file an opposition.
“That the second applicant (Siwela) must report at Bulawayo Police Station at CID Law and Order once a week instead of the three times on Monday between 6am and 6pm, while first applicant (Thomas) reports at Njube Police Station on the same day and times. The applicants no longer need the written consent of a Bulawayo magistrate when they leave the 40km radius of Bulawayo Main Post Office,” Cheda wrote.
“The respondent (AG) is still opposed to the other conditions being altered, that is, passports must remain in the custody of the Registrar of the High Court until matter is finalised. The applicants can apply for the release of their passports whenever the need to travel out of the country arises.”
She said the RG’s Office was making efforts to have the trial judge Justice Nicholas Ndou, who resigned on December 31 last year, recalled to finalise the three and other outstanding cases at the Bulawayo High Court.
“A date will soon be set for the continuation of the trial. The judge’s attendance may be secured while the applicants are out of the country and this may compromise the administration of justice,” she said.
Former MLF activists Siwela (49), Thomas (44) and Gazi (54) are facing treason charges for allegedly seeking to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government through unconstitutional means.
They were arrested in March 2011 over the allegations.
Advocates Lucas Nkomo and Sindiso Mazibisa represent Siwela and Thomas.