R20 000 bail for murder-accused cop

2013-07-09 09:03

A Mpumalanga deputy traffic chief accused of shooting and killing a woman has been granted R20?000 bail by the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court.

A Sapa correspondent reported that Johan Heunis (57) pleaded not guilty to shooting dead Michelle Curgenven, (36) in Nelspruit on Thursday.

Prosecutor Brian Mogale asked the court yesterday to either deny Heunis bail or set it at a high amount. He said Heunis had earlier appeared to be suicidal.

“The suspect had threatened to commit suicide when police wanted to arrest him,” Mogale told the court.

Coert Jordaan, for Heunis, said his client had spent the weekend behind bars and had already been punished.

“Your worship, my client will not run away. His passport has expired and he will not intimidate the State witnesses.”

Magistrate Power Sambo said according to the police report, Heunis threatened to kill himself. “The court will grant him the bail on condition he does not get closer to the deceased’s family at all times, or the State witnesses at any time,” said Sambo.

Mpumalanga police spokesman Colonel Leonard Hlathi said Curgenven, who worked for the Mbombela municipality as an administration clerk, was shot dead in her home in Nelspruit’s Steiltes area around 7pm on Thursday.

“The woman was shot in her garage inside her vehicle. Upon arrival, police were met by the suspect in full uniform. He was aggressive, threatening to commit suicide should the police try to arrest him,” he said.

Police negotiated with Heunis until 4.30am on Friday, when he surrendered.

A post mortem would be conducted and the gun sent for ballistic testing.

The case was postponed to September 13.

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