‘Coffin’ case: bail extended
THE two men who were yesterday convicted on charges relating to them stuffing farmworker Victor Mlotshwa into a coffin will remain out on bail until their sentencing on October 23.
The State had argued that the men might be tempted to flee and their lives could be in danger should their bail of R1 000 not be revoked. But Judge Sheila Mphahlele said the men had attended court regularly during the trial. She also said the community should trust that the “wheels of justice” were turning and that they should trust the courts to mete out justice.
“I’m ruling that bail be extended to October 23, 2017, which is the date of sentencing,” said Mphahlele.
Willem Oosthuizen and Theo Jackson were found guilty of attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping, and intimidation.
Oosthuizen and Jackson were arrested late last year after a video of the incident went viral on social media and sparked outrage.
MEANWHILE, THE ruling in the bail application of the Pretoria men accused of assaulting a black couple in Montana was postponed by the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Magistrate Motlhoki Rapulana said she needed time to go through the evidence before making her decision on August 30.
State prosecutor Ronnie Sibanda argued the men should not be released because their safety was not guaranteed.
Stephan Nel, 39, Joshua Scholtz, 21, and Dicky Junior van Rooyen, 21, are facing charges of attempted murder, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and pointing a firearm. One coaccused, 23-year-old Marius Harding, has abandoned his bail application, while another co-accused, 20-yearold Ockert Muller, has already been granted bail.
The men are accused of assaulting Jacob Sono and his wife Dudu at the KFC drive-through in Montana, north of Pretoria, on August 2.
Investigating officer Constable William Tladi earlier testified in court against the bail application. He said accused number one, Nel, had arrived at the scene when the brawl had started and went on to point a firearm at Sono before hitting him together with his co-accused.
“That is why I came to oppose bail. A person could die from being beaten on the head,” Tladi said.
Advocate Francois Kriel, for Schultz , maintained the injuries were not serious or life threatening.
Nel’s lawyer, Nols Nolte, told the court Tladi was not familiar with the details of the case and had been instructed to come to court and oppose bail.
“In fairness to you, I want to put it to you that you are just doing what you have been told to do,” Nolte told the court. – ANA