…Defence lawyer not ready
The Blantyre Senior resident magistrate court on Monday morning adjourned to September 14 the case against Vincent Wandale and 20 other people following an application from the defence counsel asking for more time to prepare his case.
The lawyer, Michael Goba Chipeta told the court that he needs more time to go through the documents that were served to him the same morning by the state prosecutor David Mtete.
Chitepa was also seen to have arrived late at the court, delaying the court proceedings by an hour.
Speaking to Malawi24, Chitepa said his delay was due to his engagement with other clients whom he was representing in another courtroom the same morning.
“Actually I haven’t interacted with my clients [Wandale and the group] they just approached me yesterday to be specific in the evening and I had no time to go through the papers that have just been served to me as I was entering the court,” said Chipeta.
Senior resident magistrate Thokozani Soko then adjourned the case to Wednesday when the court will hear from Conforzi estate.
On September 1, Wandale mobilised a group of Thyolo and Mulanje residents to share land belonging to Conforzi Plantation Limited in Thyolo.
The incident led to running battles with the police and to the arrest of 20 people.
But Wandale and the group have since pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit misdemeanour, unauthorised use of land, inciting violence and criminal trespass that have been levelled against them.