Cape Town – Missing probation reports on Thursday caused a postponement for the second time in the sentencing proceeding of nine men who transgressed the Civil Aviation Act by dumping human waste in the departure hall at the Cape Town International Airport nearly two years ago.
Eight of the nine men appeared in the Bellville Regional Court on Thursday, before Magistrate Nonkosi Saba.
The defence team, advocate Pearl Mathibela and attorney Ntuthuko Msomi, told the court that the missing ninth man had not been in touch with them, and that they had no information about his whereabouts.
A warrant for his arrest was authorised but, at Mathibela’s request, was held over until May 19, when all nine are expected to appear in court again.
If the man again failed to appear, the warrant would be executed immediately, and he would forfeit his R2 000 bail.
At Thursday’s proceedings, Mathibela said she had only just received the correctional supervision reports in respect of each of the nine men and needed time to peruse them.
She and prosecutor Natasha Moshodi agreed that the correctional supervision and probation reports were essential in assisting the court to decide on appropriate sentences for each of the nine accused.
The correctional supervision reports would indicate whether the sentences would involve a short period of imprisonment followed by release into house arrest, or house arrest without imprisonment.
The probation reports would involve in-depth probes into the backgrounds of each of the nine men.
They are to be sentenced for violating the Civil Aviation Act, for emptying buckets of human waste in the airports departure hall on June 25 2013.
Both State and defence agreed that the interests of justice required that the court considered both reports.
The case was postponed to May 19, for the probation officer’s reports.
Both prosecutor and defence agreed that the sentencing proceedings were likely to last for two days.
According to the charge sheet, the accused lived in Cape Town townships, where portable toilets were used.
A dispute had arisen between the accused and other residents over the perceived neglect of sanitation in these areas.
This included the alleged infrequent removal of human waste, which was not in accordance with procedures agreed to between the City and the service provider.