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Constable who killed teen seeks bail

2012-04-18 15:34

Johannesburg - A student constable accused of shooting dead a Soweto teenager could have committed suicide before he was arrested but did not, the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Student Constable Sipho Mbatha, 41, was applying for bail after he allegedly shot and killed 16-year-old Thato Mokoka in Braamfischerville Phase Two, Soweto, on February 14.

His lawyer Kenneth Manyage said the statement by the State that Mbatha was a threat to himself "caught the defence off-guard".

"There is no evidence that he tried to commit suicide after the incident, or when he was informed that he would be arrested," Manyage said.

"He handed himself over to the Independent Complaints Directorate."

Public outcry

In opposing bail, the State argued that if Mbatha was granted bail it would evoke a public outcry.

"The community can't dictate to the court," Magistrate Deliza Smith responded.

Earlier, two police officials testified about allegations that Mbatha had tried to commit suicide in December last year.

Lieutenant Colonel Phineas Rambanduli told the court he received a phone call from Mbatha's wife on December 16 2011.

Rambanduli said when they investigated, he saw Mbatha was "very, very drunk and crying".

"I couldn't interview him because of his crying," Rambanduli said.

Shot three times

Constable Mphambayeni Mphephu told the court he was called to Mbatha's house that day after receiving a suicidal call.

"He [Mbatha] was at the scene. He was just quiet... his wife was the complainant," Mphephu said.

"When I arrived at their house he [Mbatha] was drunk; he couldn't walk and couldn't speak."

Mbatha was sitting in the dock, wearing a black jacket, looking down and occasionally shaking his head as the officers testified.

Mokoka was shot three times with an R5 rifle, as he was lying face down while being body-searched, outside his grandmother Sybil Mokoka's home.

The bail application continues.

Comments
  • Lorain - 2012-04-18 15:44

    "A student constable accused of shooting dead a Soweto teenager could have committed suicide before he was arrested but did not" So who's stopping him?

  • Marion - 2012-04-18 15:51

    Whether or not he will commit suicide is not the issue in my opinion. Whether or not he will kill anyone else is. Bail denied.

  • Daniel - 2012-04-18 15:54

    R5 rifle lying face down = excecution! Bail denied, book him!

  • Thato - 2012-04-18 15:54

    No Sorry ntate constable lepodisa,NO BAIL here Please Madam Magistrate ... *he shot a boy 3 times with a Rifle as he was lying face down during a body search*...dat is meda comorate... *Please Don't kill me Mr Officer*

  • Philip - 2012-04-18 15:55

    What the hell is a student constable doing with an R5 in the first place, why was his finger on the trigger ... he should not be allowed to continue his training ... that is all. And what is the relevance of him being able to have committed suicide and did not, is there a new rule in the police service that if you screw up you should kill yourself?

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-18 19:59

      In Japan, people who fail to achieve their objectives and disappoint themselves and their elders commit seppuku - suicide. Imagine if that happened here - there would be almost nobody left ...

  • anthro45 - 2012-04-18 16:07

    What the hell. Bail is set at R50.00. Run along now.

  • Du Mabaso - 2012-04-18 16:40

    I dont know where in our country is good enough to keep this man. Not in prison not in oour communities not even in a psychiatric institution. Only in the GRAVE

  • Wanda - 2012-04-18 17:19

    NO BAIL for this man; please WORSHIP.

  • Phala Reuben - 2012-04-18 17:26

    Yo Daniel, well, I nearly wrote that bail is a constitutional right, so Daniel's judgement eroded my analysis. Fair trial is one of those...

  • zukiswa.mbongela - 2012-04-18 17:27

    This man shot a defenseless boy, he must not b grated bail. No no no!

  • zukiswa.mbongela - 2012-04-18 17:27

    This man shot a defenseless boy, he must not b grated bail. No no no!

  • flysouth - 2012-04-18 17:38

    Yeah, well - the ahole could have flown to the moon perhaps but did not - so what has that to do with anything?

  • Grace - 2012-04-18 18:42

    He's an unstable drunk.....a menace to society. Throw him in jail to sober up

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