|My son also drowned: Boat driver|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00|
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
parents of some of the children who died had turned violent on Wednesday.
Zulu, who is representing himself, said claims by the parents of the deceased children that the boat owner and crew members performed rituals and that they were satanic were unfounded.
He said the type of force that the parents used at Lake Chivero to have their children on the boat was the same they were applying at the courts to have a favourable ruling.
Lawyers representing the other accused told the court that the matter should be held in an empty gallery after parents of the deceased children angrily confronted them on Wednesday.
They also asked for the matter to be referred to the Supreme Court for fair trial.
Lawyers Mr Hamios Mukonoweshuro and Mr Jacob Jogee claimed that they feared for their lives and those of their clients after relatives of the deceased children attacked them.
“After yesterday’s proceedings, a group of people followed me,” said Mr Mukonoweshuro. “I was saved by the quick response of an alert police office and with the help of staff here who locked the door of the court.
Mr Mukonoweshuro said among those who were holding stones were two witnesses threatening to stone his car.
“The behaviour exhibited by these people is clear hooliganism.
He then made an application to have the children’s relatives barred from attending the trial, “so that we can conduct the trial freely without fear of being attacked by these people”.
Mr Jogee urged the court to find ways of protecting the lawyers and their clients.
Appearing for the State prosecutor Mr Michael Reza said: “With all due respect Mr Mukonoweshuro, there is need for sensitivity of the matter. You cannot call parents of children who have just died hooligans.
“The most lethal weapon that she was holding in her hand was a handkerchief. If she intended to commit murder with a handkerchief that would have been a first.”
Magistrate Mahwe said any threats that were made outside court should be reported to the police.
Mr Mukonoweshuro made another application to have the matter referred to the Supreme Court on the basis that his clients would not receive a fair trial, which was also dismissed after Mr Reza argued that it was frivolous, vexatious, embarrassing and lacked merit.