Murder victim’s sister breaks down upon seeing accused

2015-07-07 13:26
A heartbroken Victoria Ramohai holds a picture of her daughter-in-law Charlotte. (Claudi Mailovich, Netwerk24)

A heartbroken Victoria Ramohai holds a picture of her daughter-in-law Charlotte. (Claudi Mailovich, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - The sister of a Soweto woman gunned down in front of her children broke down in tears on Tuesday when one of the accused walked into the Protea Magistrate's Court.

She was escorted out of court by concerned family members, so did not hear him ask that his photograph not be taken, saying he did not want to be prejudiced like former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was.

Alex Ngobeni, 25, and Mlungisi Twala, 24, are accused of hijacking and killing pregnant mother of two, Charlotte Ramohai, outside her daughter's school in April in Bram Fischerville Phase 4.

Twala, wearing a blue tie-dye sweater, grey sweatpants, and standing with his hands behind his back, appeared first on his own in connection with the murder of an 80-year-old man in Mayfair. He then appeared for Ramohai's murder.

‘Published pictures would prejudice rights’

As Twala walked into the courtroom, Ramohai's sister Maphule Molubisi broke down. Ramohai's family, including her mother and husband Tsepho, helped Molubisi from the courtroom.  

Twala's lawyer Doctor Magabane asked that his picture not be taken in court.

Magistrate Herman Badenhorst wanted to know why.

"It will prejudice his rights... He will be found guilty by the media before the actual trial starts," Magabane said.

Badenhorst replied: "It didn't prejudice Mr [Oscar] Pistorius."

Magabane responded, "It did your worship", to which Badenhorst said, "No, he got away."

Magabane said, "The counsel for Pistorius did not call other witnesses because they were afraid to come."

Following this exchange, Badenhorst told the court that given the defence's objection, and taking into consideration the defendant's constitutional rights, he would err the side of caution.

"So in the circumstances, I would rather not allow photographs to be taken."

Suspects remain in custody

Ngobeni, wearing a brown jacket, green top and blue jeans, was then brought into the courtroom.

The pair face charges of murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

Shortly after Twala was joined by Ngobeni in the dock, Badenhorst postponed the matter. Both men remain in custody.

On the day of her death, Ramohai was picking up her 12-year-old daughter and had her 7-year-old son in her car, when two armed men approached her vehicle and hijacked it.

Ramohai was shot and thrown out of the vehicle along with her children. She died at the scene. She was three months pregnant at the time of her death.

The hijacked vehicle was found several hours later abandoned in Dobsonville extension 3.

Both matters were postponed to August 14.

Read more on:    soweto  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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