“I have to admit that I am not impressed with the manner in which the SAPS are dealing with matters of such grave concern,”
CHARGES against a local businessman, Neo Sediti, who allegedly threatened to kill his estranged wife, were removed from the court roll yesterday morning.
Kimberley Magistrate Pauline Coollen rapped the police over the knuckles after the State prosecutor admitted that he did not have the docket from the investigating officer yet.
“I have to admit that I am not impressed with the manner in which the SAPS are dealing with matters of such grave concern,” said Coollen.
According to the State prosecutor he was unable to get the docket from the investigating officer (IO) because the latter was on leave.
“When I spoke to the IO, he indicated that before he went on leave, there were two subpoenas that still needed to be issued and he was not sure whether this had been done. He referred me to another police official, who was also not at work when I went there.”
The State prosecutor asked for a postponement until the IO returned from leave.
Sediti’s defence lawyer, however, objected to a postponement, adding that when the prosecution was ready to continue with the case, they could subpoena his client.
“This case was remanded for a 205 (which relates to the issuing of subpoenas) already on March 14 – that is more than a month ago,” Coollen pointed out. “It is an extremely long time and the IO could not have been on leave all this time. At the very least, the court should have some indication of what is happening with this case.”
Coollen added that she would not allow a postponement and would remove the matter from the roll.
“There is no docket – the prosecution cannot take place without a docket. If the State was able to indicate at least what is in the docket and what progress has been made then the court could have taken that information into consideration and made a decision about whether to grant a postponement. The State, however, is not even in possession of the docket.”
Sediti, 35, was informed that he could leave. “You are free to go,” Coollen told him.
Sediti was facing charges of intimidation and harassment, where he allegedly threatened to kill his estranged wife, and contravening a protection order that was obtained in 2014 and later amended in 2017.
The charges related to an incident that took place on January 28 at about 2.45am, when Sediti allegedly contacted the complainant, his estranged wife, Lucinda Sediti, while she was standing with friends outside Samy’s Wholesalers.
He apparently interrogated her and demanded that she reveal the identities of the men who had accompanied her and later threatened to kill her as well as the men with whom she was conversing.
She requested the police to escort her home, where they found the accused waiting for her.
Sediti, who is the majority shareholder of Sediti Closed Corporation, was granted bail of R6 000 during an earlier court appearance in February.
Lucinda, who was in court yesterday, supported by a family member, said she “didn’t know what to say”.
“I am disappointed that the case has been removed from the roll, but it’s okay. I just hope that he will not come after me again. I knew this was going to happen.”