ANC, ANCWL supporting different parties at Patel's bail hearing

2015-05-12 19:19


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Polokwane - Crowds supporting both the victim and the murder accuse gathered outside the Polokwane Magistrate's Court as the bail application of Limpopo businessman Rameez Patel's was again delayed.

The bail application was postponed again to allow the Patel's defence to finish cross examining key witnesses.

Patel was arrested last month in connection with the murder of his wife Fatima Patel in Nirvana, a suburb in Polokwane.

On Tuesday, Magistrate Mohamed Shaik dismissed the application by Patel’s lawyer Tumi Mokwena to have the investigating officer summoned to appear before the end of his study leave.

Patel changed lawyers, and replaced advocate Stephanie Fourie with Mokwena who is representing EFF leader Julius Malema in his corruption case.

The bail application was delayed after the investigating officer Constable David Nkuna told court that he would not be part of the proceedings until he finished writing exams on May 19.

However, Mokwena argued that Nkuna's rights to study was a sign that state was willingly violating Patel's rights to have his bail application urgently heard.

Mokwena said because Nkuna was well he should be summoned to appear before the court so that his cross-examination could be concluded.

“We now know that he is well. As I have indicated, we would like to make an application to have the date of  the 19th brought forward... even if the accused rights are limited the accused still has right to be released on bail," Mokwena told court.

Mokwena said Patel's children also needed their father.

He also accused the investigating officer of detaining the accused and then applying for study leave to trample on his client’s rights.

"You don’t detain people and go on leave unless it is your practice. So we asking this court not to sit down and watch the accused’s rights be trampled," Mokwena said.

State prosecutor Advocate Mark Von Dronik said Nkuna could not be forced to come back from study leave.

Forced to testify

He said he did not want to see a repeat of last week's when Nkuna collapsed in court after he was forced to testify despite making arrangements to proceed when he had finished writing exams.

Von Dronik also told court that Patel’s rights were limited because he was facing a schedule six criminal offence.

 (Pictures: News24)

Before the hearing started, supporters of Fatima and Patel's gathered outside court chanting slogans.

Close to the entrance of the court were a group of ANC Women’s League members and allies who chanted slogans demanding that the court not release Patel on bail.

On the other side of the road was a group dressed in yellow ANC T-Shirts with placards which read “Innocent until proven guilty”.

Dismissing the defence's application, Shaik said the court could not pressurise Nkuna to testify again.

“It will be unfair to pressurise the investigating officer to come and testify tomorrow, it will be unfair if he did not study for his examination,” he said.

"Unfortunately the accused will have to suffer the prejudice and it will be in the interest of justice to postpone this matter," Shaik added.

The hearing has been postponed to May 20.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  crime

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