A DISTRACTED court interpreter, who provided sub-standard interpretation and failed to properly swear in witnesses, has forced the Port Elizabeth High Court to order that about a quarter of the state witnesses in the trial of three men accused of brutally murdering a Despatch taxi owner, be recalled.
The three men accused of killing Zibekile Sam Kundayi – Kabelo Kojana, Thembile Mbilini and Mtutuzeli Xakuxa – have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and the possession of an unlicensed firearm.
They are accused of murdering Kundayi by drowning him in his bathtub after tying him up, and then placing his body in his fireplace.
During the trial the men, who are Xhosa-speaking, raised concerns about the quality of the interpretation in their trial by interpreter Khayalethu William Makalima. He was brought to the Port Elizabeth High Court from the city's magistrate's court to interpret.
The quality of the interpretation was then reviewed by the magistrate's court's chief interpreter Vuyisile Vass and Gertrude Komani, who served as the inspector of the interpreters.
Komani found the interpretation was not up to standard and confirmed Vass's finding that witnesses were not properly sworn in.
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