Activist guilty of ‘necklacing’ murder

2014-10-02 09:32
Angy Peter (Facebook)

Angy Peter (Facebook)

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This article originally appeared on GroundUp.

Cape Town - On Wednesday, Judge Robert Henney found Social Justice Coalition activist Angy Peter and her co-accused guilty of premeditated murder.

Their bail was withdrawn and they will remain in police custody until sentencing on 24 November, unless defence lawyers present exceptional circumstances to the judge justifying the granting of bail.

Peter, her husband Isaac Mbadu, Christopher Dina and Azola Dayimani were charged with assault with intention to do bodily harm and with the kidnapping and murder of Rowan Du Preez. The judge acquitted them on the first count but found them guilty on the other two.

Three police officers told the court that Du Preez named Peter and Mbadu as his assailants. During their testimony, the officers said Du Preez, who had been necklaced, could speak and was able to give them his name, residential address and the names of those responsible for his assault.

Henney said Du Preez was still alive at the time the accused were arrested. Dina and Dayimani were arrested later that day as accomplices in the matter after being named by state witnesses.

Cops ‘were honest witnesses’

Captain Kok and Constable Raoul Bernardo were the officers who found Du Preez after a passing motorist alerted them.

The two officers told the court that they phoned the Kleinvlei police because where they found him fell within their patrol area. Chandre Haines from Kleinvlei Station said the deceased named Peter and her husband as his assailants.

Henney described the officers as honest witnesses. He acknowledged inconsistencies and contradictions in their testimony, but said they were immaterial. He said the police did not know the history between the deceased and the accused nor Peter’s history with the police.

The defence alleged they were framed by the police because of Peter’s role in the SJC establishing the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry.

The judge said Bernardo was a young constable yet confident. He said Wilhelm was affected by what she had witnessed. He said they could not have been part of the conspiracy to implicate Peter and her husband.

Judge Henney said Du Preez had been suspected of stealing a television at the home of Peter and Mbadu on 11 August 2012 and they had confronted him.

After that confrontation, the judge said, Du Preez had been assaulted at their premises, though they had denied being party to the assault and had blamed it on the community.

Accused ‘unimpressive witnesses’

He also said Du Preez might have been forced through the assault to give up the contact number of the police office, Andile Tshicila, who allegedly bought the stolen TV.

The judge said none of the accused were impressive as witnesses and their evidence in court was not convincing.

Referring to Peter’s testimony, he said she had been argumentative with the state prosecutor, Phistus Pelesa, instead of answering questions clearly.

He said Peter did not dispute having been seen wearing a pink gown [by two state witnesses, Desiree Jack and Asavela Zici] at the scene where the deceased was assaulted.

Instead she had only said she was pregnant and was not the only pregnant woman in that area. He described her as a person who was full of self-importance who acted like everyone knew her.

Activists will continue legal battle

He dismissed her version of events of 11 August, that she walked away from her house which was full of people who were assaulting Du Preez.

Henney ruled out the possibility of a conspiracy by the police in response to Peter’s role as an activist. He said she was not the only member of the SJC who had been involved in setting up the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into policing and asked why she would have been the only one targeted.

He said Mbadu during his testimony had never mentioned having problems with the police and Dina and Dayimani were not enemies of the police.

The judge said it was difficult to believe that the police, with all the resources at their disposal, would use an incompetent detective like Standford Muthian to fabricate a case.

Defence counsel, William King said he was disappointed with the outcome. Peter and Mbadu would continue their legal battle, he said.

* This article was originally published on GroundUp and is available under the Creative Commons License.

Read more on:    sjc  |  cape town  |  crime

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