Journalists’ trial deferred yet again

The trial of The Standard journalists, editor Nevanji Madanhire, reporter Patience Nyangove and Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) group human resources manager Loud Ramakgapola — representing the company on 27 October 2011, failed to take off again.

Nevanji Madanhire
Nevanji Madanhire

The case was deferred after provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini said he was overwhelmed with court business and could not therefore entertain a fresh matter.

Jarabini had proposed that the matter be remanded to 28 October 2011 but state prosecutor Tapiwa Kusema noted that his chief witness detective chief superintedentr Crispen Makedenge would not be available.

Jarabini then deferred the trial date to 12 December 2011.

Background

Madanhire, Nyangove and Ramakgapola are being charged with criminal defamation as defined under Section 96 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and section 31, which criminalises the publishing or communication of false statements prejudicial to the State.

The sections also deal with statements “undermining public confidence in a law enforcement agency, the Prison Service or the Defence Forces of Zimbabwe”, as contained under section 31(a) (iii) of the same law.

The three were arrested following the publication of a story carried in the weekly Standard issue of June 26 – July 2, titled: “MDC-T fears for missing Timba”.

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