03 November 2020
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has noted videos and images circulating on social media which purport that documents applicable to the case of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, his wife Mary Bushiri, Willah and Zethu Mudolo and Landiwe Ntlokoane had been illegally removed during the proceedings at the Pretoria Magistrates Court yesterday.
The Department conducted a full investigation and in this regard, it can be confirmed that the bench notes of the magistrate are in possession of the relevant court officials. It is standard practice for the clerk of the court to retrieve the charge sheet, as the custodian of the court records, for further processing and storage. The interaction between the clerk of the court and the journalist seen in the video/images was based on the journalist requesting to have sight of the charge sheet. This is allowed and does not imply that any documents were removed from the courtroom.
Further, it should be noted that all dockets are held by the National Prosecuting Authority after they have received same from the investigating officer in the South African Police Service. The docket is not transmitted to a magistrate or judge hearing a matter. Therefore, the docket was not part of the documents that were exchanged between the court officials seen in the videos/images.
The case will continue in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on 4 November 2020.
Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Enquiries: Mr Steve Mahlangu
Spokesperson: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Contact: +27(0) 79 878 7587