THE state has been ordered to get its house in order in the perjury trial against former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini.

Magistrate Betty Khumalo told state prosecutors in the Joburg Magistrates Court to make sure their second witness was available so the matter could proceed on Friday, 26 November.

This came after the state requested yet another postponement saying there were difficulties in getting the second witness to Gauteng.

Khumalo said: “Yesterday, we couldn’t do much and the state is still dilly dallying. The matter has been put on the roll for tomorrow. The state must ensure it secures this outstanding witness.”

On Wednesday, 24 November, prosecutor Jacob Serepo asked for a postponement to consult with the first witness.

On Thursday, 25 November, he said after consultation, it was decided the witness would not be taking the stand.

“We will not be calling her. However, we are making her available to the defence,” he said.

Speaking about the second witness, he said: “The witness is available but not today or tomorrow.. The state requests an adjournment to sometime next year.”

Defence lawyer Tshepiso Phahlane said the state was abusing its power.

“My colleagues said they were ready to proceed. Two months later, it becomes apparent the state is not ready. It has no witnesses,” he said.

“The consultation could have happened before the accused was summoned to court.”

Khumalo said she was not happy that the state has not put in enough effort to secure the consultation with the witness. The matter continues on Friday, 26 November.