/ 14 November 1997

Brenda disrupts Mzwakhe hearing


SINGER Brenda Fassie jumped over the dock at Friday’s bail hearing for “people’s poet” Mzwakhe Mbuli, as she and 200 other supporters disrupted the hearings until the magistrate walked out.

Before the magistrate entered, Fassie demanded — and got — permission to go down to the cells to see Mbuli, who hugged and kissed her.

Mbuli was arrested a fortnight ago when his BMW was stopped a block away from a bank that had been robbed, and found to contain stolen bank notes, revolvers and a hand grenade. Two of the other passengers in the car have since been linked to other robberies. Mbuli says the two men asked for a lift and he knew nothing about any robbery.

When senior prosecutor Andre Weideman asked Mbuli’s supporters o please behave, Fassie replied: “Ja baas (Yes boss)”. Then she clashed with reporters, threatening to hit one, and saying: “We blacks are here to support Mbuli. You only want to make money out of him,” she said. “Why don’t you write about Ge Korsten?” Magistrate Reinhardt de Vos warned that if the noise in the public gallery continued, he would clear the court. But when Mbuli entered the dock, cheering erupted in the public gallery and De Vos walked out.

He returned later when the gallery quietened down, and the bail hearing began, with Mbuli agreeing not to commit any offences if released on bail. The hearing was postponed at lunch time.