ANC disowns murder accused Patel’s supporters as ‘rented crowd’

2015-05-12 17:01
Rameez Patel. Picture: Marietie Louw-Carstens

Rameez Patel. Picture: Marietie Louw-Carstens

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Polokwane - The ANC in Limpopo says supporters of murder accused businessman Rameez Patel, who protested outside court in ANC colours, are a “rented crowd”. 

Patel, who is accused of murdering his wife, has enlisted the services of Julius Malema’s lawyer Tumi Mokwena to secure bail. 

The ANC in Limpopo said it had been informed that a crowd wearing party colours was bused in from as far as Thohoyandou to support the Polokwane businessman, who was arrested in connection with his wife Fatima’s gruesome murder. 

The party’s provincial spokesperson Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said none of the people, who were seen holding placards outside the Polokwane Magistrates’ Court, could be ANC members. 

The ANC Youth League has been vocal in opposing Patel’s bail and even demonstrated outside court. 

This morning, however, two groups wearing ANC colours were seen standing on opposite sides. One group opposed bail while the other held placards bearing Patel’s face and name with the words: “Innocent until proven guilty”. But the ANC said this was just a “rented crowd”. 

“We have been informed that these people are from Thohoyandou and as you would know [that] ANC T-shirts are distributed freely and anyone can wear them. Our members from any ANC branch will never support people accused of murdering women and the only gesture we support in this case is that of the ANC Youth League,” said Ntshavheni. 

This was reiterated by provincial ANC Youth League spokesperson Kgopelo Phasha who said they would investigate “any card-carrying member found to have been part of the group supporting Patel” and they would “have to explain themselves and possible disciplinary action may be taken against them”. 

Phasha said supporting a person accused of killing a woman “lies against our belief systems and values” and emphasised that the youth league had taken a stand to support victims in all cases of abuse against women and children. 

Meanwhile, Mokwena introduced himself as Patel’s lawyer when the bail hearing resumed this morning. It seemed like Patel had dropped his initial legal representative Advocate Stefanie Fourie, who launched his bail application, for Mokwena who represented Malema in a number of court cases. 

While Mokwena today kicked off with an objection to the calling of a pathologist to testify, which was overruled, he was expected to defend a case in which gruesome injuries sustained by Fatima have already been revealed. 

The court has already heard that on April 10 Fatima was found dead with her skull and cheekbone shattered, and a bullet wound to the head. Patel was arrested six days later after police doubted his story that Fatima was killed during a break-in at their rented apartment in Nirvana, Polokwane, citing absence of signs of forced entry. 

An investigating officer, Constable David Nkuna, told the court that Patel had gone to a relative’s house to wash off the blood after the alleged killing.

The case has been postponed to May 20 for further hearing into Patel’s bail application.

Read more on:    ancyl  |  rameez patel  |  polokwane  |  crime

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