‘Racist’ killing: fourth suspect nabbed outside court

2011-08-24 00:00

THE last suspect being sought in connection with an allegedly racist murder at a Margate bar was arrested outside Ramsgate Magistrate’s Court yesterday when he arrived to attend the hearing of three men arrested previously.

Strong security was in place as about 200 members of the ANC and SA Communist Party from the South Coast and Eastern Cape protested about what they called a racist murder.

The 49-year-old, who detectives saw at court and arrested, will appear today together with Jakes Putter (33), Douw van der Walt (33) and Petrus Opperman (48).

They are accused of the murder of Lwandile Mampofu (26) on Sunday, August 14, at the Lighthouse Bar and Grill in Margate after an altercation over a cigarette.

Mampofu, who was from the Eastern Cape and worked at the Margate Country Club, was attacked just after closing time at 2 am by a group of men.

Hibiscus Coast Municipality spokesperson Simon Soboyiso, described the killing as a “an isolated attack by bullies”.

But he added that the municipality has noted allegations that black people are attacked without reason at the bar.

ANC regional secretary Mzwandile Mkhwanazi described the killing as “an out-and-out racist attack”.

The ANC Youth League has called for the bar’s liquor licence to be suspended and said the MEC for Tourism should intervene “to root out the unfriendly and unwelcoming behaviour by racist business owners and patrons in Margate”.

Employees at the bar, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation, denied that the management is racist.

“Gays, black people, Indians, Chinese and whites all come here,” they said.

They said incidents like the murder of Mampofu are to be blamed on people who can’t handle their drink and look for trouble.

Troublemakers are asked to leave the bar and the police and security company ADT are called, they said.

Mampofu died at the local hospital after the group who beat him followed him to his home nearby.

In the light of yesterday’s arrest, prosecutor Sohana Moodley asked magisitrate Elise Coetzer to postpone the case for a bail hearing.

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