Relief after bail is denied

2018-06-13 06:00

The bail application lodged by Rethabile Matshukudu (29) was denied on Friday (08/06) despite a strong argument by his attorney, Ferdi van Heerden, on his behalf.

The ruling to deny bail was made by Magistrate Dolly Mokoto of the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Matshukudu’s third appearance, following his arrest on Friday, 1 June, for contravening his previous bail conditions.

Matshukudu was initially arres­ted on 1 May and charged with domestic violence, common assault and contravening a protection order.

His latest arrest follows a plea for help by his wife, Audrey, who posted photos on social media displaying injuries caused by abuse that had reportedly been committed by Matshukudu. She requested the public to assist in locating him.

By that time, the police had not shown any signs of response to her case, she claimed.

The plight, which went viral, and was also reported about in the 6 June issue of Express Northern Cape (“Woman pleads for help”), caused public outcry.

Matshukudu had been served with a protection order requested by his wife following claims of assault and domestic violence that dates back to 2016.

He was granted bail on 4 May, with a warning to not contravene the order.

Matshukudu, who allegedly continued to stalk his wife, is said to have gone to her place of residence on 25 May, where he assaulted her.

At the bail hearing, the investigating officer, Sgt Lungiswa Mabilo, gave testimony of how Audrey feared for her life. Van Heerden cited it as hearsay, arguing that his client had not been responsible for the latest physical assault.

Reasons given for bail being denied, includes lack of trust, as the accused was described as unreliable and could not produce a permanent residential address.

The case has been postponed until Thursday, 5 July, for further investigation. Matshukudu remains in custody.

The Democratic Alliance Wo­men’s Network (Dawn) in the Northern Cape has welcomed the ruling to revoke bail.

“It is sickening that, at the time of the alleged violation, Matshukudu was out on bail for charges relating to another violation of the protection order,” said Safiyia Stanfley, federal deputy leader of Dawn.

“Ms Matshukudu’s story is sadly an experience shared by far too many South Africans who are let down by a criminal justice system underresourced, understaffed and ill-equipped to protect them.

“While incidents of domestic violence reported in the Northern Cape have more than doubled from 2014 to 2017, arrests made by the SAPS remain at the same level.

“Far too few police stations are compliant with the Domestic Violence Act and protection orders continue to be disregarded.”

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