Watch: Angry Mpumalanga crowd assaults advocate outside court for defending suspected child killers
When Advocate Nico du Plessis travelled to deep rural Mpumalanga to represent two suspected child killers, he had no idea he was putting his life in danger.
Du Plessis was assaulted and beaten outside the Tonga Magistrate’s Court on January 21 and says he dreads returning to court this coming Wednesday.
“I was really scared, I thought I was going to die especially when they mentioned that I would be killed.
"I sustained various injuries. I went to the doctor who examined me and gave me a J88 form. It shows marks around my neck where I was strangled with my tie, I have bruises and injuries due to being kicked all over my body,” said Du Plessis.
He explained that the crowd was angry with him because he was representing two men charged with the murder of a 3-year-old girl, whose body has never been found.
“I was attacked because I represented two accused in court and I wanted to apply for bail for them. I don’t feel safe anymore. However, I will have to ask the police to secure the place so that I can proceed with the case,” he added.
The case involved the kidnapping and possible murder of the girl on November 29 last year.
The accused, Luis Sithole, Sfiso Mazibe, Themba Myambo and Jabulani Ndlovu have been charged with murder, despite the lack of a body.
Du Plessis is representing Myambo and Ndlovu.
He said he is determined to take legal action against his attackers.
“I am busy opening a case in Nelspruit. I will submit my statement this week to the police."
He said the Director of Public Prosecutions had refused to move the case to a safer venue.
Meanwhile, Tonga police spokesperson Lieutenant Mzwandile Nyambi says police will be at the court to make sure there isn't another attack on Du Plessis.
“We will deploy more police in court to make sure that the incident doesn’t happen again. We urge residents not to take the law into their own hands,” he said.