Limpopo businessman denies killing his wife

2015-04-28 19:52
Magistrates are demanding a single pay structure for the judiciary: one that would have their salaries and benefits put on the same sliding scale as those of judges.

Magistrates are demanding a single pay structure for the judiciary: one that would have their salaries and benefits put on the same sliding scale as those of judges.

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Polokwane - A Limpopo businessman, accused of staging a burglary after allegedly shooting dead his wife in the Polokwane suburb of Nirvana, on Tuesday said he intended to plead not guilty.

In a statement written for his bail bid, Rameez Patel said he knew nothing about the crime.

Patel was arrested two weeks ago after his wife Fatima was found in the pool of blood on April 10.

His bail application before the Polokwane Magistrate's Court got off to a slow start on Tuesday amid a wrangle between the State and defence.

The State wanted to have the matter postponed. The court, however, ruled in favour of the defence, saying the State knew it was going to have bail application heard.

As Magistrate Mohammed Shaik made the ruling, a man shouted from the gallery: “Release him on bail we are waiting for him."

The gallery was packed with members of the ANC Youth League and members of his community. They held placards demanding that Patel not be granted bail.

Patel kept his eyes away from the court gallery and scratched his head as the chants behind him continued. 

"Don't give him bail," the people repeatedly shouted.  

At times, Patel rested his head on his arms. 

'I am innocent'

Reading through Patel's affidavit, his lawyer Stephanie Fourie said her client was emotionally and psychologically burdened by his wife's killing. 

She said her client knew nothing about the incident.

“I am innocent,” Patel said in the affidavit. 

He did not explain where he was when his wife, Fatima was murdered.

The couple had three children together. The youngest was just 4 months old at the time of the murder.

Patel listened attentively to the argument by prosecutor Mark von Dronik, who opposed his bail application.

Von Dronik said there were no substantial circumstances that compelled the court to grant Patel bail.

He highlighted that Patel had relatives in the United Kingdom and the couple's children were under the guardianship of their grandmother.

During the last court appearance, Shaik broke down. 

On Tuesday, he said the fact that he had been emotional should not be misinterpreted as him being biased. His emotional status would not affect his judgment, he said. 

Patel's bail application was postponed to May 4 when the state is expected to call the investigating officer to the stand. 

Read more on:    polokwane  |  crime

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