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State witness a court no-show in case of officer accused of murder of homeless man — arrest warrant issued

State witness a court no-show in case of officer accused of murder of homeless man — arrest warrant issued
City of Cape Town law enforcement officer Luvolwethu Kati outside the Wynberg Magistrates Court last Thursday where his trial began. He is accused of shooting and killing a man who was homeless. (Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks)

Dumisani Joxo died in January 2022 after he was shot during an altercation in Rondebosch.

The state’s witness in the trial of a Cape Town Law Enforcement officer accused of shooting and killing a homeless man last year failed to come to court on Thursday, forcing proceedings to be postponed.

The officer, Luvolwethu Kati, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder following the shooting of Dumisani Joxo in Rondebosch in January 2022. Dressed in a dark green puffer jacket and jeans, Kati made a brief appearance at the Wynberg Regional Court on Thursday. In a statement read out by his lawyer in court, Kati said that he had been acting in self-defence.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Cape Town law enforcement officer on trial for homeless man’s murder

At the hearing last week, state witness Linda Mbuqe testified that he had been living in a makeshift structure at the Liesbeek River Trail with Joxo at the time of the incident.

He said on the morning Joxo was shot, Kati and another officer had arrived and kicked over a pot of porridge he had been preparing. This angered him and an argument between him and Kati ensued.

Mbuqe said that Joxo came out to defend him and started swearing at Kati. He said Kati then moved towards Mbuqe and pushed him. Mbuqe told the court that Kati then pulled the trigger and the bullet hit Joxo who was standing behind him.

On Thursday, prosecutor Ebrahim Arend told the court that despite their efforts, the state had been unable to locate Mbuqe, who was to complete his cross-examination. Mbuqe does not have a fixed address or cellphone, he said.

Kati’s lawyer, John Riley, said that Mbuqe was in contempt of court and asked that a warrant for his arrest be issued. Magistrate Heather Paulse had warned Mbuqe when he took the stand that if he failed to attend the next hearing, the court would issue a warrant for his arrest.

Paulse then issued an arrest warrant for Mbuqe before remanding proceedings to 24 April. Kati’s bail of R1,000 was extended. DM

First published by GroundUp.

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