THE South African government has refused to assist the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office in conducting toxicology tests to establish the cause of death of the late Tinashe Magorimbo whose demise led to Star FM DJ Munyaradzi Milimo’s arrest in May 2013.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Milimo (33) is accused of having hired “hit-men” Taurai Janhi (35) and Mohammed Matare (32) who allegedly kidnapped and murdered Magorimbo after he had reportedly failed to pay Milimo a $5 000 compensation for having an illicit affair with his wife.
All the three men have since denied the allegations.
In a correspondence received by the PG’s Office dated April 7 2014, the director of the Forensic Pathology Services Department of South Africa, Alida Grove, said: “I regret to inform you that we will no longer be able to assist you with toxicology analysis as it is not included as part of our memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Zimbabwe and South Africa.”
While addressing the court in seeking further postponement, prosecutor Sharon Mashavira told provincial magistrate Milton Serima that the State had referred Milimo’s docket to the PG’s Office for preparation of indictment papers and therefore she wanted the matter to be deferred to February 13.
But Milimo’s lawyer, Lucky Mauwa, opposed the State’s request arguing his client had given notice to the State that failure for the latter to provide a trial date, Milimo and his co-accused persons would apply for further remand refusal.
Mauwa said it was clear that the State was not ready to proceed to trial given that the South African government had refused to assist the PG’s Office in carrying out the toxicology tests.
“If the State cannot be assisted by its counterpart, then my clients cannot be prejudiced. The court is supposed to make a ruling on the failure by the State to provide a trial date and not on the progress that has so far been made,” Mauwa said.
“The test results that have been dragging this matter were never done at all and the State will suffer no prejudice if the accused persons are removed from remand and the State ordered to proceed by way of summons.”
The matter was eventually deferred to today after the magistrate indicated his intention to go through the court record before ruling on Milimo’s application.