Cops ‘didn’t follow procedure’ in Taegrin Morris case

2014-11-14 16:58

Charges against an accused man in the Taegrin Morris case were withdrawn because the police did not follow proper procedure, distraught family members of the little boy were told today.

This morning, the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court withdrew charges against Thamsanqa Twala, who was accused of being involved in the death of the four-year-old boy.

Morris was dragged behind his parents’ Volkswagen Golf after a hijacking in July.

“We had a brief meeting with control prosecutor Henk [Strydom] and he explained that proper police procedures were not followed,” community leader Hein April told people staging a sit-in outside the court.

“The man was positively identified by Chantel [Taegrin’s mother] as he is the one who put a gun against her head... but police did not do their work properly.”

It was not immediately clear what had happened at the police station.

The state had decided to withdraw the charges, prosecutor Matshediso Moleko told the court earlier.

Magistrate E Magamba asked her: “You mean all charges?”

Moleko responded: “Yes your worship. All charges against Twala are withdrawn.”

Moleko did not give reasons for the withdrawal of charges.

The proceedings, which took less than two minutes, angered supporters and relatives in the public gallery.

They started screaming and pointing at the magistrate and prosecutor shouting: “Genoeg is genoeg. Nee Man [Enough is enough. No man].”

They pointed at Magamba and Moleko as the two left the courtroom.

Twala was not in court.

People gathered outside, demanding to hear why charges were withdrawn.

April called on the community to remain calm.

“I hear people saying we should go burn down the police station ... We will not do that. It is our police station. Let’s try help the police and jack up the service,” he said.

Morris’s aunt, Gladys Smith, called on the police to do their job properly.

“We were told the man could be re-arrested ... but he is out because of shoddy police work. Procedures were not followed,” she said.

“We ask the police and the justice system to do their work properly.”

Morris died when his parents’ vehicle was hijacked in Reiger Park, on the East Rand. Three men approached the car in which Morris, his sister and parents were travelling, and ordered the family out.

The boy was caught in his seatbelt and was dragged along the road as the hijackers drove off. The car was abandoned in Boksburg.

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