Bar killing: Witnesses link all four accused to murder

2011-08-31 00:00

SEVEN eyewitnesses link four men to the “merciless and cruel” attack on a black man whose skull and jaw were fractured as he was kicked and jumped on in Margate, a court in Ramsgate was told yesterday.

The fatal assault of Lwandile Mampofu (26), an employee of the local country club, after an argument over a cigarette in a bar has shocked the community.

Prosecutor Sohana Moodley argued that bail should be denied to Jakes Putter (33), Douw van der Walt (33), Petrus “Lappies” Opperman (48) and Carel Volschenk (49).

She said the August 14 murder has already disturbed public order, as could be seen in the demonstrations outside the court.

A witness told police that Putter had said — even as he set foot in the Lighthouse Bar and Grill — “Which k***** are we going to get tonight?”.

Mampofu and his girlfriend were the only black people in the bar, and Putter allegedly started the argument over the cigarette.

Moodley called Putter a “nasty character” who shouldn’t be released back into the community as he has several previous convictions for assault.

Defence lawyer Christo Jansen van Vuuren submitted the uproar around the murder can be ascribed partly to media coverage.

“What happens when a white person is murdered? Is that also called racist?” he asked.

He said eyewitness accounts are contradictory. “One witness spoke of four attackers while another said there were six,” he said.

Magistrate Elise Coetzer will rule on bail today.

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