TV Channel Moja Love delays handing over the murder video evidence to court

Thursday, February 22, 2024
 – TV channel Moja Love has delayed providing the state with video evidence relating to the murder of Robert Varrie during the recording of anti-drug show Sizokthola, the Palm Ridge magistrates court heard on Thursday.

The court proceedings were delayed by more than an hour as the prosecution waited for the channel to bring the video footage to court despite a formal request through section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which allows investigators access to information.

The shows former presenter Xolani Khumalo is accused of Varriess murder in July 2023 after an interrogation by the show’s crew in July.

Varrie was declared dead after the interrogation and the alleged assault was witnessed by his partner during the filming of an episode of Sizok’thola.

State prosecutor Pheello Vilakazi told the court: A formal request has been lodged with Moja Love by the state for the purposes of obtaining video footage of the day of the incident.

“However, Moja Love have prolonged the providing of the [footage of the] incident to the extent that today they said they will come to provide the footage but subsequent to that, they said they are not going to come but they will provide the footage to the investigating officer.

The footage in question is said to be of use in identifying further suspects and for forensic investigations.

Dressed in a black and grey checked shirt and black pants, Khumalo looked relaxed in the dock and spoke to his bodyguards who were manning the courtroom's entrance.

Behind him, the family and supporters of Varrie, 49, sat quietly, dressed in white shirts with  Justice for the murder of Robert Varrie and No one is above the law written on the back.

Supporters of Khumalo, some from Mpumalanga, marched outside court, wearing shirts depicting his image, and singing and chanting.

In November 2023, the state added two more charges of robbery with aggravated circumstances and malicious damage to property against Khumalo.

The case was postponed to April 11.

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