Delay in murder trial of hospice nurse
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.