Attempted murder rap: bail for bosses

2010-10-04 00:00

TWO men accused of stripping Tankiso Skhosana (33) naked, tying him up, placing a plastic bag over his head and dragging him behind a car last week were granted bail on Friday.

Justice Koen of the high court in Pietermaritzburg granted the two midlands businessmen — Born Electrical owner Johan Bornman (33) and his senior manager, Theunis Jacobus Schoeman (32) — bail after they were arrested two weeks ago and charged with attempted murder and kidnapping.

On Thursday, magistrate V.B. Zwane of the Howick Magistrate’s Court denied them bail.

For the defence, Yoganathan Moodley SC and advocate Vershan Moodley filed an urgent appeal before Judge Koen on Friday where they made submissions that magistrate Zwane had erred and misdirected himself by ruling against bail for the accused.

Zwane had said it was not in the interest of justice if bail is granted when there is a like­lihood that the accused would interfere with the complainant or the investigation.

Nor, he added after a group of people had protested outside the court house, is it in the interest of justice to grant bail if the accused were likely to cause public disorder. The people were asked to leave the premises.

In their submission to the high court, the defence team argued that the state did not provide evidence that if granted bail, the lives of the accused would be in danger.

They also pointed out that there was no evidence that the people picketing the court meant harm to the accused.

Judge Koen ruled that the accused be given bail of R20 000 on condition that neither they nor any person acting on their instructions should communicate in any way with the complainant.

Bornman was ordered to surrender his passport to the investigating officer.

Both the accused were barred from going to Mpophomeni and must contact the investigating officer via their attorneys should they need to go to the area for any matter in relation to their company.

The accused will appear in the Howick Magistrate’s Court later this month.

Their defence had earlier described Skhosana’s claims as “bold” and motivated by a personal vendetta.

 

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