Trial of Byo juveniles over riots deferred again

BULAWAYO - The trial of five minors arrested together with a gang of looters during the January fuel price hike riots in Bulawayo’s Emakhandeni suburb failed to kick off again yesterday.

The minors aged between six and 13 years appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza facing theft charges.
Caroline Matanga, representing the State, postponed the matter to March 16, highlighting that the probation officer’s report was still pending.

The defence submitted that the matter was taking too long to finalise and further made indications that it would apply for the matter to be placed off remand. It is the State’s case that on January 15 at around midday, the minors were part of a mob which went to Apollo Shopping Centre in Emakhandeni.

They allegedly participated in violent skirmishes with the law enforcers who were trying to maintain law and order during the violent protests. After outnumbering the police officers, the accused persons reportedly broke into the shops and looted groceries and 129 pool tokens.

The suspects were arrested after police received a tip off from members of the public leading to the recovery of some of the stolen items.

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