THREE police detectives, arrested for allegedly stealing $270 170 and detained beyond the stipulated 48 hours, had their application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court (Concourt) granted by Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe.
The three, Sikhumbuzo Mathe, Walter Denhere and Ishmael Phiri were detained in police cells for three days after magistrate Reuben Mukavhi had granted police a request for further detention in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA) Chapter 9:07.
Through their lawyer Matshobana Ncube of Phulu and Ncube Legal Practitioners, the three argued that Section 50(3) of the Constitution only allows a competent court to extend the detention of accused persons.
Ncube argued a magistrate sitting on his own cannot be defined as a competent court as a court has to sit and be constituted properly with a prosecutor as well as accused persons in attendance.
Ncube argued that Section 32 of CPEA allowed a magistrate to take away the liberty of an individual sitting on his own, but the new Constitution has since repealed that power.
The three detectives have since been placed off remand.
Meanwhile, the State withdrew robbery charges against three of five Beitbridge men in the robbery case.
The State led by Jefta Nyikadzinashe withdrew charges against Siphilanzima Langalanga, Rendan Ndou and Sakhile Ncube before plea.
The other two — Oscar Mlilo and Leonard Moyo — were granted $200 bail each and will appear in court on April 2.
They were being represented by David Maribiti.