The trial of the men accused of the murder of 19-year old lesbian Zoliswa Nkonyanano has been again postponed in the Khayelitsha Regional Court in Cape Town.

This is the sixth time the case has been postponed – this time to 5 December.

Nkonyana was beaten, stoned and stabbed to death by a group of around 20 men in Khayelitsha on 4 February 2006 – reportedly for being a lesbian.

Nine men have been accused of involvement in the murder; seven of which have been in jail for over two years while two are out on bail.

The trial, which was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, had a dramatic start when one of the men out on bail, Sicelo Mace, failed to appear in court. His lawyer, Afzal Vallie, arrived two hours late.

While Magistrate Raadiyah Wathen rebuked Vallie and threatened to report his tardiness, police officers were sent to Mace’s home. When Mace was not found, Wathen then issued a warrant for his arrest.

Although lawyers for the other accused were ready to proceed, and suggested that Mace be tried independently, Wathen chose to instead postpone the start of the trial.

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