Mosque shooting suspects denied bail

2012-02-14 19:44
Durban - Three men accused of shooting dead a man outside a mosque in a hijacking were denied bail by the Durban Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

"Bail has been denied on the grounds that the accused are a flight risk. They will remain in custody until the finalisation of the trial," magistrate Anita Govender said.

The men allegedly shot Shaber Asmal, 52, in the head as he was coming out of a Durban mosque on January 16. He died in hospital.

Siphiwe Khanyile, 24, Emmanuel Khumalo, 22, were arrested in Lindelani and Nongoma respectively on January 25. Sifiso Ntuli, 26, was arrested in Durban the next day.

They were charged with murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

State prosecutor Krishen Shah opposed bail based on evidence presented by Warrant Officer Krishna Naidoo.

"Eyewitnesses have placed the accused at the crime scene and the accused's fingerprints were found on the vehicle they used during the shooting," Naidoo said.

The three were driving a Toyota Quantum which they crashed when they were being chased by the police. They abandoned it and got away. The Toyota's owner told police he had given Khanyile the car to use to transport passengers.

"The two passengers who witnessed the murder were known by the accused," Naidoo said.

Naidoo told the court the three had changed their cellphone numbers after the murder and their families did not know their whereabouts. The court heard that Khanyile had pending cases which included rape, possession of an unlicensed firearm and a traffic fine.

The matter was postponed to March 16 for further investigation.

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