Copper thief’s bail denied

2014-10-28 00:00

A MAN charged in connection with copper theft in KwaZulu-Natal failed in a bail application for the second time yesterday.

Lindenkosi Xulu (36) has already spent two years and two months in custody awaiting trial. Xulu was refused bail after being arrested as he was considered a flight risk.

Magistrate Reard Abrahams said Xulu had not persuaded him that the situation had changed.

“I considered him a flight risk then and I consider him a flight risk now,” he said.

Abrahams said the defence focused on three allegedly “new” issues.

These were the long time Xulu had spent in prison, that he suffers from arthritis and is not getting proper treatment in jail and that he is HIV-positive.

Abrahams said Xulu’s health issues existed before the first bail application and he could not claim them as new facts now.

When Xulu was arrested, he was charged with the theft of 10 copper cable rolls worth R270 000.

However, information put before court at the bail hearing by investigator Nico Smith was that the high rate of cable theft was becoming a national problem and that the Hawks were investigating the crime.

Xulu now stands charged among 26 alleged members of a syndicate. They face a total of 186 counts, including racketeering and money laundering.

The state said the investigation had taken 18 months to finalise.

All 26 accused are scheduled to appear in the regional court again on December 12, when a trial date is to be fixed.

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