Sanders accused ‘killed before’

2012-10-02 00:00

ONE count of murder and 48 counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances are the provisional charges against three men suspected of the murder of South African boxing legend Corrie Sanders.

Paida Fish (19), Chris Moyo (25) and Samuel Mabena (27) looked bemused as they entered the Brits Magistrate’s Court from the holding cells yesterday.

State prosecutor advocate Matric Luphondo asked for proceedings to be postponed for further investigation and for the men to remain in custody.

He said 48 charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances required a lot of investigating.

“If the accused are released they could interfere with the investigation and important evidence and testimony may be lost. We also need to establish whether the men [all three are Zimbabwean] are in the country legally,” said Luphondo.

After the men’s rights had been explained to them, they denied having any previous convictions or charges pending against them.

However, shortly before the three men appeared together, Luphondo called Mabena to the witness stand by himself, and added him as an accused in another murder case.

It seems that even before Sanders’s murder, Mabena was wanted in connection with a farm attack and murder in the Brits area.

In that incident, which took place on September 5, Mauritz Oberholzer was shot and beaten to death with a spade.

Fingerprint evidence may link Fish to other robberies in Thabazimbi and Brits.

The accused will appear in court again next week.

The three men were arrested in the Oukasie squatter camp outside Brits on September 27, less than a week after Sanders’s murder.

Among other things police found handbags, cellphones, wallets and purses apparently stolen during the attack that claimed Sanders’s life.

The former heavyweight boxing champion was shot in the stomach on September 22 during a family party in a Brits restaurant while shielding his daughter, Marinique (15), from the robbers’ bullets.

Shortly after the case was postponed a small group of Oukasie residents protested outside the courtroom.

“No mercy for thieves and murderers,” and “Corrie you will always be our champ,” some of the posters read.

Michael Mhlongo of the South African National Civic Organisation said their informal settlement was always a “good” and “peaceful place until “Home Affairs allowed criminals to enter the country illegally”.

“We do not support criminals. Corrie was an asset to the country,” he said.

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