May puts on brave face as bail is denied

2013-10-23 00:00

SANELE May put on a brave face and nodded to his supporters as cameras flashed on his walk back to the holding cells after he was denied bail yesterday.

Magistrate Wendolyn Robinson denied him bail yesterday after his application in a packed Pinetown Magistrate’s Court.

May is facing 24 counts of murder after a fatal Field’s Hill accident last month involving the truck he was driving.

May (23) was flanked by his supporters, his two cousins and brother as he heard the court’s decision.

His supporters broke down after Robinson declared that it would not be in the interests of justice for the court to give May bail.

May’s attorney, Professor Mdletshe, said they were considering appealing the decision.

Peach Piche, the founder of Sanele May Support Group on Facebook, said she was devastated. “He doesn’t deserve this. We were hoping that the verdict will be different.”

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Detective Sanjeev Singh, said he and fellow officers felt sorry for May, but he would have to stand trial.

He and his colleague said people look at them as villains but Singh reminded their critics that the deceaseds’ families “are crying everyday”.

Transport MEC Willies Mchunu welcomed the court’s decision.

“We are adamant that in this case and others, a stern example should be set to those who disobey traffic rules. Harsher sentences will rid our society of the undesirable sense of impunity among errant road users,” Mchunu added.

In her decision, Robinson said May had no ties to the country, was unemployed, had no assets and no family here except for his cousin who lived in an informal settlement.

The state last week opposed bail on grounds the truck driver was a flight risk because he was an illegal immigrant.

It argued his safety would be jeopardised because of the public outcry over the accident.

May’s defence argued there was an extradition agreement between the South African and Swaziland governments.

The defence assured the court that the Swaziland authorities and May’s uncle, a crime manager at a police station in Swaziland, would ensure he returned to stand trial.

But Robinson said South Africa did not have jurisdiction over people living in Swaziland.

There was no way that May could stay in a safe house either, the magistrate said, because he was in the country illegally.

She also questioned May’s fraudulent public driver’s permit and traffic register number certificate.

The case was remanded until November 27 for further investigation.

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