Outburst at bail in beggar murder case

2016-06-08 14:02
Street child Cebolethu Ngcobo (17), who was murdered this weekend, was well-known in the Sanctuary Road area.

Street child Cebolethu Ngcobo (17), who was murdered this weekend, was well-known in the Sanctuary Road area. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - An angry outburst greeted a magistrate’s decision on Tuesday to grant bail to 25-year-old Altaaf Dawood, who is charged with shooting dead a 17-year-old beggar.

Dawood was granted bail of R10 000 by Pietermaritzburg ­Magistrate M. Boi­khutso on Tuesday and was ordered to relocate to an address in Durban pending the ­finalisation of his trial.

He is charged with shooting dead Fana Cebolethu Mkhize outside a mosque in Church Street on May 21.

Boikhutso said yesterday that in her opinion however, the state has “less than an overwhelming case” against Dawood and said it is likely to be a long time before the matter goes to trial since it was confirmed yesterday that police have still not recovered the murder weapon.

She said it was therefore likely that Dawood would remain in ­custody for a very long time pending his trial if bail was refused.

Boikhutso said Dawood, a ­general worker at Big Sky Trading in the city, has no previous ­convictions or pending cases.

His attorney Phumlani Fakude said the incident took place at night and that even though CCTV ­footage had captured the shooting, Dawood would say that he was among a group of other Muslim people going to mosque at the time who were wearing the same ­clothing as he was. He maintains it is a question of mistaken identity.

Dawood said he would plead not guilty.

Boikhutso ordered Dawood to ­report daily to a police station in the Durban area while awaiting his trial, and warned him not to interfere with or intimidate any witnesses, or to “get any third party to try to ­influence the outcome” of the case in any way.

Moments after the magistrate left court and as Dawood was led to the holding cells by police to ­retrieve his belongings and organise to pay his bail, members of the ­public hurled verbal abuse at him, uttering warnings to the effect that they would “catch” him.

Outside court the mother of the victim said she was too distraught to speak to the media.

However, Mkhize’s aunt Busi Mkhize said the while the family are “disappointed and angry” that ­Dawood was granted bail, none of them wanted to harm or threaten Dawood.

“We want justice,” she said.

She said her nephew was “loved” by them, had not done anything wrong and he was shot for no ­reason.

Dudu Kandaba of the Apostolic Church Ministries based in ­Ashdown said the church will launch a campaign next week to feed and support street children in Pietermaritzburg with the aim of trying to “get them back home”.

“We are going to show them love,” she said.

The case was postponed to ­July 12 pending further investigations by police.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  shooting  |  trial

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