Trisa Ray Sibanda and Marsline Natani
ON a very cold Tuesday morning at Bulawayo’s Tredgold magistrates courts, a “sweating” Kudakwashe Mahachi, who was wearing a trendy white tracksuit and a hat to keep warm, surreptitiously kept wiping his face and neck with a red cloth.
Charged with the crime of theft, what is unknown and may never be known is why the beleaguered footballer repeatedly wiped his sweatless face while everyone else around him was battling the freezing cold.
People at the courts were convinced that the cloth was meant to protect Mahachi from the punishing arm of the law.
His lawyer, Nkosiyabo Sibanda of Tanaka Law Chambers professed ignorance about the mysterious red cloth.
“There is nothing like that because I did not see any cloth and if by any means the media spotted the cloth it could have been that he was nervous because of the court atmosphere and it is something normal that can happen to anyone in his situation and if it’s his religion then he can’t be crucified for it,” said Sibanda.
One thing that the cloth failed to do was to protect Mahachi from the media.
Even his best friend, Zibusiso Hadebe, who was acting as a bodyguard tried but failed to stop B-Metro photographers from capturing images of the Warriors winger.
“Sondelani lizomthathela eduze,” (come closer and capture him), said Hadebe as he tried in vain to shield Mahachi from the camera lenses.
The slightly-built Hadebe also tried to intimidate journalists but no one gave him attention as all eyes were on Mahachi. Hadebe’s antics were nothing but comical.
After realising that Hadebe was not offering him the protection, Mahachi, who had tried to hide in the courts’ public toilet, gave up on his attempts to be invisible as he let the photographers take his images without being harassed by his bodyguard from New Magwegwe.
Mahachi then headed to court five in the company of his lawyer and his best friend and he was later informed that his case had been moved to court two.
As if it was not enough, it was all a mixed-up day for him as his case was moved back to court five.
However, when the journalists arrived his case was already called in and it was about five minutes after.
Hadebe was waiting to see if the journalists were going to be allowed to get into the court.
He was continuously peeping to see if there were any news reporters in court and he started laughing.
Little did he know that the Press is allowed to attend court sessions and seeing the journalists entering the court room, he was shaken.
It seemed like Hadebe was not the only one worried by the presence of the media but Mahachi’s lawyer as well.
During the court procedure, his lawyer called one of the police officers who was responsible for maintaining order and asked her about the identity of the people who had entered.
He was then informed that they were reporters.
After the court proceedings, Mahachi quickly vanished from the building.
His case was postponed to 5 July as the State had not yet recorded witness statements needed for the matter to proceed to trial.