Bail again denied in ear-cutting murder case

2015-12-18 09:04
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Pietermaritzburg - A gory murder near Matatiele in KwaZulu-Natal had a sequel in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Thursday when Judge Pete Koen refused bail for the two alleged killers.

Luwayne Marais, 27, and Donavan Cook, 33, are charged with the murder of Lindsay van Rooyen, whose mutilated body was found lying alongside the Swartberg road on November 10, 2014.

According to records of the evidence led at the bail hearing in the magistrate’s court at Matatiele, the one of the victim’s ears had been cut off and the other sliced in half.

He sustained multiple stab wounds.

Commenting during the course of a bail appeal brought on behalf of Marais and Cook on Thursday, Koen said it was unknown what the motive for the murder was.

In his experience removal of body parts invariably pointed to a murder “for muthi” or possibly a gang-related killing.

He said he had dealt with a case some time ago in the Durban area where the removal of an ear was part of a gang initiation ritual.

Koen found that the magistrate at Matatiele had correctly refused to grant Marais and Cook bail.

According to evidence by the investigating officer a state witness is going to testify that he/she had overheard the two men plotting to kill Van Rooyen; that they had left the scene in the victim’s company and later returned without him. There was also evidence that a bloody Okapi knife was found in the cubby hole of Marais’s car, even though at the time of the bail application the DNA on the knife had not yet been determined.

The judge said this evidence pointed to the murder being premeditated.

This was accepted by the defence and prosecution at the bail hearing, and as a result the onus was on the accused to show that there were exceptional circumstances justifying their release on bail.

He said they had not done so.

Koen also said the two men were untruthful when asked about their previous convictions when giving evidence in support of their bail application.

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