‘Cof­fin’ case: bail ex­tended

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - ANA AND BRENDA MASILELA

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

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