Verdict finally out: no bail for Molosi murder accused But two suspects still remain hopeful for bail
The three men accused of the murder of Knysna councillor Victor Molosi in July, were denied bail by the Knysna Magistrate’s Court this week.
In her judgment on Tuesday 20 November, magistrate Denise Oberholzer said former councillor Velile Waxa (Knysna, Ward 4) and his co-accused Mawande Makhala and Patrick Vela Dumile had failed to provide any exceptional or substantial circumstances to be released from custody.
The men face charges of premeditated murder and were arrested in August following the murder of Molosi, who was gunned down metres from his home in Concordia on 23 July this year.
Oberholzer said the three men had not been honest about previous convictions and pending matters. Addressing Dumile, she said, “It looks like you’re involved in criminal activities… You’re not entirely honest. You have submitted different addresses and then later gave your girlfriend’s address – which doesn’t make sense because, initially, you said she stayed with you.”
‘Inclined to move around’
She put it to Dumile that he has the ability and inclination to “move around”, that he is known at different addresses and doesn’t have a fixed address.
The magistrate made mention of Dumile’s health and said she noted that he has difficulty speaking and walking but that his condition is not terminal and he is receiving medication.
Referring to Makhala, Oberholzer pointed out that the address on the charge sheet contradicts the address in his affidavit.
When the police arrested him, all his property was in a truck outside his house and during a previous court appearance, he stated the reason as fearing for his life.
But Oberholzer pointed out that at the time of his arrest, it was not public knowledge that he was a suspect and that he was probably on his way to the Eastern Cape.
On Waxa, she highlighted the fact that the accused has two previous convictions of assault for which he paid an admission of guilt fine, but which he failed to mention to the court.
‘State has a strong case’
Addressing Waxa’s contention that his wife and children would suffer financially if he is to remain in custody, she pointed to his wife being a deputy principal at a school and added, “Clearly she gets paid, so your financial loss is not exceptional.” Before delivering her verdict, the magistrate said the state has a strong case against the accused, and that there is a strong possibility that the accused men would interfere with the case; that all three men know the main state witness and that; as testified by the investigating officer before, there have been attempts to manipulate him. She said police confirmed that the state witness was confronted by Dumile’s girlfriend and family. Oberholzer said the court’s observation is that the case is of an exceptional nature and interest, not only because it is allegedly politically motivated but the public interest in the case is prominent. “Every day the court is filled to capacity and outside the public is visible. The probability of public disorder is very likely if the accused are released on bail,” she said.
She took note of and said the petitions handed in by the investigating officer strongly opposing bail far outweighed the 941 signatures by Ward 4 members that he submitted in support of bail.
New attempts at bail
Before the magistrate’s verdict, Dumile’s lawyer Thabo Nogemane told the court that if his client’s application for bail was denied, he would reapply for bail based on new facts. The men are set to appear on 13 December for a regional court date to be set.
Attorney Daan Dercksen, who represents Waxa, informed Knysna-Plett Herald after the verdict that Waxa is planning to appeal the magistrate’s decision.
According to Dercksen the magistrate misdirected herself in various respects during her judgement but he declined to disclose any further particulars, only adding, “The notice of appeal will be filed with the clerk of the court tomorrow.”
* Read about the fourth accused, Mandla Tyololo, who is up for conspiracy to murder, in the report below.
Former Knysna councillor Velile Waxa.