De­lay in mur­der tri­al of hos­pi­ce nur­se

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Voorblad - Yo­lan­dé S­tan­der

The sus­pect accu­sed of ra­ping and kil­ling P­let­ten­berg Bay hos­pi­ce nur­se Pen­ny Cum­ming two mont­hs ago brief­ly ap­pea­red in court last week, but it was pos­t­po­ned a­gain for furt­her in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on.

The 30-y­e­ar-old man, who can­not be na­med be­fo­re he has ple­a­ded, was ar­res­ted on 30 Ja­nu­a­ry in Kwanokuthula af­ter the dis­co­ve­ry of the 63-y­e­ar-old Cum­ming’s bo­dy in her S­choon­ge­zicht Coun­try E­sta­te ho­me a day e­ar­lier. He is still in cus­to­dy as he was de­nied bail.

A group of lo­cals, in­clu­ding the ANC Wo­men’s Le­a­gue mem­bers, gat­he­red at the local court on Wed­nes­day 28 March to ta­ke a stand a­gainst vi­o­len­ce, es­pe­ci­al­ly com­mit­ted a­gainst wo­men.

“We al­so plan­ned the gat­her­ing to en­s­u­re this mat­ter does not fall by the way­si­de. We need the court to know that this is a se­ri­ous mat­ter and it should be tre­a­ted as that,” one of the or­ga­ni­sers, Gay Clark, said.

The ca­se has al­re­a­dy e­li­ci­ted a mas­si­ve out­cry from the com­mu­ni­ty, in­clu­ding a pe­ti­ti­on a­gainst the sus­pect’s re­le­a­se on bail which was sig­ned by mo­re than 5 000 lo­cals. This pe­ti­ti­on was han­ded in du­ring the man’s bail ap­pli­ca­ti­on on 21 Fe­bru­a­ry.

Du­ring pro­cee­dings, De­tecti­ve War­rant Of­fi­cer Wyn­and We­st­raadt told the court that po­li­ce had a strong ca­se a­gainst the accu­sed and that he had been po­si­ti­ve­ly lin­ked to the c­ri­me through fin­ger­prints. He said the­re is al­so CCTV foota­ge, which is being a­na­ly­sed by a fo­ren­sic te­am, that shows him le­a­ving the e­sta­te af­ter the mur­der.

The mat­ter was pos­t­po­ned to 7 May, and is ex­pected to be trans­fer­red to a hig­her court as the of­fen­ces are sche­du­le six of­fen­ces.

Pen­ny Cum­ming

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