Rameez Patel in 2 courts for mother and wife's murders

2017-10-02 13:31
Rameez Patel has appeared for murder. (Chester Makana, News24)

Rameez Patel has appeared for murder. (Chester Makana, News24)

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Polokwane - A prominent Limpopo businessman who is currently out on bail for his wife's murder appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's court in connection with another murder - his mother's.

Rameez Patel was arrested on Friday September 29, following the woman's murder.

Mahejeen Banu Patel, 51, was shot and killed in Nirvana, a suburb south of the Polokwane CBD, on September 19 when an armed Patel allegedly opened fire on her and their domestic worker, police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe told News24 previously.

READ: Rameez Patel arrested in connection with the death of his mother

Although she was rushed to a local hospital, the woman succumbed to her injuries. The helper did not sustain any injuries.

He will remain in police custody until his next appearance on October 11 when he was expected to submit a formal bail application.

Outside court, Patel's lawyer Tumi Mokoena told reporters that his client was innocent and vowed to fight for him to be released on bail.

Covered in blood

Patel runs a family business, which he co-owned with his late father 54-year-old Feroz Patel.

Feroz was shot and killed in August 2016 while driving in his vehicle.

Police spokesperson at the time Colonel Ronel Otto told reporters that Feroz was being chased by two vehicles and subsequently lost control of the vehicle and crashed.

He was shot dead before a bag was stolen out of his vehicle, however it was unclear what was in the bag, Otto said.

READ: Mother of murder-accused Rameez Patel shot dead

Feroz's death came more than a year after his daughter-in-law Fatima was found dead at the couple's rented flat, also in Nirvana.

Patel was arrested a few days after her body was discovered and charged with her murder.

He has, however, denied killing her.

The court previously heard that Fatima suffered multiple brutal wounds and had a fractured skull.

Young children

State pathologist Dr Arnold Mamashela had previously told the Limpopo High Court during trial proceedings that a gunshot wound to Fatima's head had probably ultimately caused her death.

A 9.8mm gunshot wound on her right cheek above her lip had caused bleeding in her ears, in her eyes and her mouth, Mamashela said at the time.

The court also heard that Patel was covered in his wife's blood and that he had bathed and changed into Muslim regalia after the shooting.

READ: Murder accused businessman fights against psychiatric evaluation

The couple has three children together. The youngest was just 4 months old at the time of the murder.

The 32-year old man was out on R250 000 bail for the matter.

Immediately after his short appearance, Patel was driven to the Limpopo High Court to stand trial for Fatima's murder.

During that appearance, Mokoena applied for a postponement, saying that the recent arrest had made it difficult for him to consult with his client. 

Mokoena told the court that Patel was "still emotional" and that this was making it difficult for him to take instruction from the murder-accused. 

"We are still unable to proceed my lord," Mokoena told the court.

Judge Joseph Raulinga, however, chided Mokoena for not using the time available to both men prior to his arrest, effectively.

"You had to consult before he was arrested on Thursday, he was arrested on Friday."

The State also objected, saying any further postponements would create the perception that the matter was becoming a circus.

"Mr Patel has been on bail, [with] enough opportunity to consult, even during the weekend at the police station. We should proceed," State prosecutor Mashudu Mudau told the court.

Judge Raulinga said Patel's second arrest did not prevent the trial from proceeding, but granted Mokoena an overnight postponement.

"I understand he has been arrested apparently for his mother's death that does not mean that this matter cannot continue," Raulinga said.

Patel will appear again on Tuesday for his wife's murder trial.

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