Pub murder: ‘weak evidence justifies bail’

2011-09-24 00:00

STATE evidence presented in a bail application relating to an alleged racial murder at Margate pub does not correspond with evidence appearing in the police dossier.

This was the argument of Christo Jansen van Vuuren in a new bail application for Jakes Putter (33), Douw van der Walt (33), Petrus (Lappies) Opperman (48) and Carel Volschenk (49).

The four men are accused of murdering Lwandile Mampofu (26) on August 14 after an argument over a cigarette.

Magistrate Elise Coetzer ruled at the end of last month that the state has a strong case and that the defence has not offered any extraordinary circumstances showing why it would be in the interest of justice to release the four accused on bail.

Van Vuuren is arguing that a CCTV recording of the fight outside the pub was lost because the police did not obtain it in time. Visuals are erased after a period of time.

The defence also argues that the police did not obtain statements from various witnesses.

Van Vuuren has submitted that, in fact, the state has a weak case, which in itself constitutes extraordinary circumstances justifying the granting of bail.

The hearing of the application was yesterday postponed until Tuesday so that an important part of the earlier court proceedings can be transcribed.

Prosecutor Sohana Moodley told the court that the police did inquire timeously whether there were municipal video recordings of the incident, but were told that the incident had not been recorded.

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Bonginkosi Khoza is expected to be recalled to the witness stand next week.

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