More witnesses expected in Patel bail bid

2015-05-21 19:07
Rameez Patel. (Picture: Marietie Louw-Carstens)

Rameez Patel. (Picture: Marietie Louw-Carstens)

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Polokwane - More witnesses are expected to be called by prosecutors in the bail application of murder-accused Limpopo businessman Rameez Patal, the Polokwane Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Mark von Dronik told the court the State was likely to call more witnesses after the cross-examination of investigating officer Constable David Nkuna was complete.

Nkuna was being cross-examined by Patel's lawyer Tumi Mokwena, who questioned the constable on how the investigation was handled, including Patel's reason for washing clothes with blood on them.

Patel, 29, allegedly killed his wife Fatima, the mother of their three children.

Fatima was found dead at the couple's rented apartment in Nirvana on April 10. Patel blamed an unknown intruder before his arrest.

Nkuna testified that Patel frustrated the investigation, refusing to hand over bloody clothes he wore on the day of the alleged murder.

The investigating officer was surprised that Patel had left the scene to bath at his uncle's house while police were looking for him.

When Patel returned to the flat, he was wearing a different outfit, and still did not want to hand over the bloody clothes.

Patel has denied refusing to hand over the clothes. He also rejected accusations that he bathed to erase evidence.

Mokwena said Patel bathing was part of his Islamic faith. It dictated that after a relative’s death, scripture from the Qur’an had to be recited.

“The accused is a Muslim, and by his religion when a person died they go through Surah Yasin prayer, when they read Qur’an, they have to be clean on their bodies and clothes,” Mokwena said.

Nkuna replied that if Patel had nothing to hide, why did he refuse to hand over his clothes.

He refused to speculate on Fatima's time of death, stating he was not a doctor or pathologist.

Mokwena argued that Patel was not a flight risk.

Even if Patel could evade trial by going to India, his country of birth and where he had relatives, he could be extradited back to South Africa.

Patel's parents also lived in South Africa and his business was located here, Mokwena said.

At the end of the day's proceedings, Magistrate Mohammed Shaik postponed the case to May 25.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  crime

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