Anger as car guard ‘killer’ goes home

Fam­ily bit­ter he’ll en­joy Christ­mas

Sowetan - - News - By Pen­well Dlamini

The fam­ily of the car guard who was killed on duty in Springs says it is hurt af­ter the man ac­cused of killing him was re­leased on bail this week.

Lukas van der Merwe, 39, who is ac­cused of killing Vusi Mgiqwa in Oc­to­ber was re­leased on R6,500 bail this week af­ter spend­ing over a month be­hind bars.

Van der Merwe briefly ap­peared in the Springs mag­is­trate’s court yesterday and he will re­turn on Jan­uary 15.

Vusi’s sis­ter Jab­ulile Mgiqwa said she did not ex­pect the court to give Van der Merwe bail.

“I am not happy with his re­lease on bail. He was say­ing painful things in his state­ment be­fore the court. He said he did not kill Vusi but only as­saulted him. As a fam­ily we know that Vusi was not sick. He did not take any med­i­ca­tion. The man that killed him is out to en­joy Christ­mas with his fam­ily while our brother is gone. It is not right,” said Mgiqwa.

On Oc­to­ber 26, Van der Merwe al­legedly punched Mgiqwa out­side a restau­rant in Sel­court, Springs, af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion over park­ing. Mgiqwa fell on his head and was left un­con­scious due to the head in­juries he suf­fered. He later died in hos­pi­tal.

Van der Merwe left Mgiqwa on the ground and sped off with his wife and child in his car. How­ever, wit­nesses took his car reg­is­tra­tion num­ber and alerted the po­lice im­me­di­ately. The ac­cused was ar­rested at his home on Oc­to­ber 29.

In court, Van der Merwe in­di­cated that he would plead not guilty to the charge of mur­der. He ar­gued that Mgiqwa did not die be­cause of his punch but be­cause he landed on his head.

Dur­ing bail ap­pli­ca­tion, Van der Merwe’s lawyers said that the state had no grounds to charge him with pre­med­i­tated mur­der as there were no facts to back this ar­gu­ment.

In Au­gust, mo­torist Phi­lani Mil­ton Mkhulisa, 25, was re­leased on bail of R2,000 in the Jo­han­neb­urg mag­is­trate’s court af­ter he beat up a car guard. The guard, Sam De­seko, died on the city pave­ment as Mkhulisa, who was an­gry af­ter his car was bro­ken into , sped off. Cops ar­rested him at his Alexan­dra home.

/THU­LANI MBELE

Lukas van der Merwe was re­leased on R6,500 bail for mur­der in the the Springs mag­is­trate’s court.

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