Tibbetts case: Man accused of pointing gun denied bail

2014-08-18 16:52
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Johannesburg - A man accused of pointing a firearm in the shooting that left 3-year-old Luke Tibbetts dead was denied bail by the Newlands Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

"It is not in the interest of justice for the accused to be released on bail," Magistrate Elmarie Engelbrecht said.

The matter against Keenan Mokwena, 28, was postponed to 3 September.

During his testimony, Sergeant Diedelof Fourie told the court that Mokwena and the man accused of shooting Tibbetts, Lindray Khakhu, 24, had an argument on the day of the shooting.

"He [Mokwena] then left and came back with a firearm which he then pointed at him [Khakhu]", said Fourie.

Stray bullet

Khakhu retaliated and fired shots at Mokwena, who was driving in a vehicle at the time.

A stray bullet then hit Tibbetts, who was driving in a separate vehicle with his mother at the time.

He died in hospital on 8 August and had been on life support machines.

Mokwena was also shot in his right arm during the shooting.

He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated and discharged.

Mokwena opened a case of attempted murder against Khakhu, while Khakhu's friends opened a case of attempted murder against Mokwena.

Mokwena's lawyer, Omphile Kedijang, said the case was only opened against his client because he had opened a case against Khakhu.

"He was shot at and is a complainant in the matter. He wants justice done," said Kedijang.

Destroying evidence

Fourie said Mokwena did not have a licence for the firearm and was unable to recover the firearm that he used in the shooting.

"The fact that he was unable to recover the firearm is indicative of the risks that the accused could destroy evidence," he said.

However, Kedijang said Mokwena had been co-operative with police on the matter and had brought himself in, as well as the vehicle that was shot at during the event.

Fourie said Mokwena should be refused bail as he could also intimidate witnesses in the case.

"It is a small community and everybody knows everyone so there's a chance that they will meet in the streets," said Fourie.

Case postponed

He also said a woman had approached him and alleged that Mokwena's friends had sent her an intimidating message on social networking site Facebook.

"We [have] got his name but we don't know where he is," said Fourie.

Engelbrecht said even though Mokwena did not directly send the message to the woman, "it was an indication of the attempt to intimidate".

Khakhu appeared in the same court on Tuesday for allegedly killing Tibbetts.

The case against him was postponed to 29 August for a formal bail application.

He was arrested after people who witnessed the shooting identified him and reported the matter to the police.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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