- The bail hearing of a triple murder accused policeman has been postponed after the magistrate recused himself.
- The NPA said the bail application would now be heard on 24 May by a different magistrate.
- The officer also faces an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting and wounding a fourth person during the shooting spree.
The bail hearing of a VIP Protection Unit policeman, accused of a triple murder, has been postponed after the magistrate recused himself from the case.
Warrant Officer Ronnie Doko, 55, stands accused of fatally shooting his pastor, a worshiper and a traditional leader last week over an ongoing land dispute.
He also faces an attempted murder charge after he allegedly shot and wounded a fourth person during the shooting spree.
The Mthatha-based officer made a brief appearance in the Centane Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
The National Prosecuting Authority said the reason for the postponement was because the presiding magistrate had recused himself because he had dealt with a civil matter involving Doko before.
The bail application would now be heard on 24 May by a different magistrate, said NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.
The SAPS has since suspended Doko following his arrest by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
The Police Prisons and Civil Rights Union has condemned the alleged actions of the officer, saying the incident destroyed trust between communities and police.
The gruesome murders happened at Kwa Nontshinga Village in Centane on 5 May.
Police watchdog IPID said Doko had allegedly borrowed a piece of land belonging to the church from a village headman he goes to church with.
It is alleged a dispute arose when the church started building a church hall on the same land.
The dispute turned deadly after an armed Doko allegedly went to the church and confronted the pastor over the developments on the land, before shooting him and a worshiper dead.
Another person was wounded during the same attack. IPID said, after the church shooting, the officer allegedly went to the home of the headman who had loaned him the piece of land, confronted him, and fatally shot him as well.