Bronx murder suspect gets bail

2012-03-27 13:56

Cape Town - One of the four men accused of murdering Bruno Bronn, owner of the Bronx gay night club, was released on bail on Tuesday.

Fareez Allie, 29, was released on bail of R5 000 by the Cape Town District Court.

One of his co-accused, Kurt Erispe, 35, was granted bail at a previous hearing. The other two accused, John Frederick Coetzee, 36, and Achmat Toffa, 35, abandoned their applications for bail.

Bronn was found strangled in his home in Sea Point, Cape Town, on February 7.

Weak case

In granting Allie bail, Magistrate Jasthree Steyn noted that he had denied any involvement in the murder and that he intended pleading not guilty.

Steyn found there was no evidence placing Allie at the murder scene, which rendered the case against him weak at this stage.

Evidence before the court placed Allie at a drug house in Maitland, Cape Town, where he went in Bronn's stolen car and exchanged a collection of coins stolen from Bronn's home for the drug crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as tik.

There was also evidence that perfume stolen from the Bronn home was found in Allie's possession.

Innocent until proven

Steyn said although a petition had been handed to the court requesting that bail be refused, all accused were considered innocent until proven guilty.

Allie could not be kept in detention as a form of punishment, he said.

Steyn said there was no likelihood that Allie's release on bail would endanger the public order, or that Allie would attempt to tamper with or destroy prosecution evidence.

This meant there were exceptional circumstances justifying the granting of bail and his release was in the interests of justice, Steyn said.

He warned Allie not to become involved in any crime while on bail, and instructed him to inform the investigating detective of any change of address.

The case was postponed to April 26.