Margate pub murder accused denied bail

2011-09-01 07:43

Ramsgate - A KwaZulu-Natal magistrate has denied bail to four men charged with the alleged racial murder of a man after an altercation over a cigarette.

When he heard magistrate Elise Coetzer say that bail was denied, the tall and strongly-built Jakes Putter, 33, dropped his head and clenched his teeth.

He and his three co-accused - Douw van der Walt, 33, Petrus (Lappies) Opperman, 48, and Carel Volschenk, 49 - will spend at least the next six months behind bars.

The four men, who all pleaded not guilty, are charged with the murder of Lwandile Mampofu, 26, after an altercation over a cigarette in the Lighthouse Pub and Grill in Margate on August?14.

In the packed public gallery, Putter’s fiancée of eight years wiped away a tear.


Coetzer started by expressing her sympathy with the families of both the victim and the accused, because, she said, “most of the time it is them that suffer the most.”

Putter testified in his bail hearing that he and his co-accused sleep in shifts in fear of their lives while they share a Margate police cell with 13 black awaiting-trial suspects “who sing racist songs until late at night”.

According to the State, Putter had made racist comments as he stepped into the pub on the night of the murder.

Mampofu died of his wounds after a group of men kicked him and jumped on his body, the court heard. Coetzer hoped to move aside the racism issue, “because it has no place in the bail application”.

“The allegations of racism saddened me, because one would like to believe that this is something of the past,” she said.

She said the community was justifiably shocked over such a death. “But I must add that any murder is shocking.”

Coetzer found there is no danger that the four would escape jail, as Warrant Officer Bonginkosi Khoza testified he heard them plan to do.


She added that the State has a strong case with seven witnesses who connect the four accused with the assault on Mampofu.

She said the accused had submitted no extraordinary circumstances to the court why it would be in the interest of justice to let them out on bail.

It was revealed during the bail application that Putter, Van der Walt and Opperman are all employed in the construction industry in Margate in fairly senior positions. The company declined to speak to the media.

Volschenk is a self employed businessman in the IT industry.

“I am very glad today. I want them to stay inside,” said Emsie Mampofu, the mother of the murdered victim.

The family of the accused did not want to comment on Coetzer’s bail decision. Van der Walt’s wife is expecting the couple’s second child.

The case has been postponed to September 30.

  • Komasa - 2011-09-01 07:50

    Move them to Durban's main prison and put them in a 48 bed cell.

      Ockert - 2011-09-01 07:56

      Why is it always whites that are racist ?, are you not indirectly threatening them ?, and is a person not "not guilty" until the contrary is proved ?

      Komasa - 2011-09-01 08:01

      Who said anything about whites.

      Daemos1 - 2011-09-01 08:04

      @Ockert switch to Decaf

      McDaNife - 2011-09-01 08:10

      Whether its a racist thing or not Ockert they have killed a man. So let them pay for it.

      GrimReaper1 - 2011-09-01 08:39

      lock them up with the serial rapists in C-Max,the filthy racist pigs

      Borken - 2011-09-01 08:50

      exactly Ockert, komasa never mentioned race, these bastards PLEADED guilty, black or white, these men are animals right now my friend, dont even hint at deffending them.

      Skaapwagter - 2011-09-01 10:23

      @Borken, please read the article before making a comment. It clearly states: "The four men, who all pleaded not guilty..." as in NOT GUILTY.....

      M&P9 - 2011-09-01 11:57

      @Borken. Please learn to read. Its not difficult.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-09-01 07:55

    the victims of the stupidity and racism in this instance are on both sides, I hope everyone can learn a lesson from this

  • Wow! - 2011-09-01 07:56

    If they are guilty they must do the time. However,why the six months before they face trial?

      Daemos1 - 2011-09-01 08:03

      That's how things go for most major crime awaiting trial prisoners in SA, uor judiciary is still inificcient

      Nkalakatha - 2011-09-01 08:25

      Becuase there are so many cases on the court roll, that is why it takes so long !! People must really THINK before they DO something stupid like this and I am sure they are blaming the booze for their actions ! Now look what it has brough them !!??

      Lionel - 2011-09-01 13:56

      It's probably because they are going to be indicted for trial in the High Court - if that's the case, they'll be lucky if they spend less than a year in custody awaiting trial.

  • onmyway - 2011-09-01 07:59

    Sick story.

  • Chosen one - 2011-09-01 08:09

    hahaha @ sleep in shifts, why complain they sing you guys to sleep in there, racist scum.

      bluzulu - 2011-10-11 20:10

      Nice one

  • Lutando - 2011-09-01 08:12

    Im glad they were not granted bail. Racism is rife here in Margate.

      ngoties - 2011-09-01 10:39

      i agree with you Lutando, i was once a victim of that racism in Shirley. those white guys in Margate are still racists, there are 'WHITES-ONLY' shops there although its not written

  • misspower - 2011-09-01 08:14

    Throw the racist pigs in jail and throw away the keys! Theyre white asses will be the next best thing for sum hungry gangs

  • prsephton - 2011-09-01 08:19

    Smoking kills...

      SayWhat? - 2011-09-01 09:19

      lol! You're sick, but funny..

  • Nkalakatha - 2011-09-01 08:19

    Serves them right !! Good for you Magistrate Elize !! We need to take out this sort of behaviour in our communities!!!

      DEVILS SON - 2011-09-01 08:36

      if they are guilty they must pay, white black indian coloured, racism aside, murder is murder, who cares if it was racist

  • Dan - 2011-09-01 08:24

    I suppose it is fair and just to keep them in jail, but why do the state grant bail so easily to so many other violent criminals. They can say what they want, by highlighting this case just again shows the utter racism in our country and justice system. I am referring to much the much harsher treatment white "criminal" gets when compared to black. It is just not equal justice anyway you look at it.

      Jem Atkins - 2011-09-01 08:48

      I'm sorry, Dan, but what are you basing your assumptions on? Are you saying that blacks always get bail? Are you saying that whites never get bail? Course you're not. You're missing the point, I'm afraid - 4 afrikaans 'hooligans' (some of whom have multiple assualt charges to their name) beat a black man to death. They were also allegedly planning on 'escaping' after bail was grnated, and had bags packed at home. They're in a whole world of kak...and they deserve it, racists or not! (BTW I'd bet my house that they are all racist pigs!!). #White man from Durban

      Johannes Viljoen - 2011-09-01 08:51

      @ Dan, yet give an example please? Let me enlighten somewhat: First as a non white, I think we should forget about race (even if this was racially motivated), but what does the law say: The Constitution recognizes that there may be a tension between an individual’s right to freedom and the interests of justice generally. On the one hand South African law treats individuals as innocent until a court has found them guilty. Innocent people are entitled to their freedom and the law will not arbitrarily deprive them of this right. On the other hand, the law recognizes that in certain instances it is in the interests of justice to deprive or curtail an individual’s freedom. A bail hearing is concerned with whether it is necessary, in the interests of justice, to interfere with an individual’s right to freedom. Now Crimes like these evidence should be adduced, which shows exceptional circumstances in order for a person to be released on bail. Now yet again I have to state, forget about the race aspect and ask yourself would you have let these guys out, bearing in mind the Carmichele v Minister of Safety and Security case? Im not going to explain the case to you, but in order for you to understand, do yourself a favour and read the said case. I note on these comments all over this sites we are too eager to blame because of race and loose sight of facts. Hope you understand why bail was denied!!!!!!

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-01 09:45

      @Dan I beg to differ, everyone is given a chance to put forward a plea for bail if its not good enough then you don't get it "She said the accused had submitted no extraordinary circumstances to the court why it would be in the interest of justice to let them out on bail."

  • BB - 2011-09-01 08:25

    Normally an articale of this nature would have hundreds of comments. it may still, but I think this is an embarassing one for most of us. The silence is a shout out that sometimes - never mind who is involved - justice must prevail, and that wrong is wrong.

  • Reeves - 2011-09-01 08:25

    They deserve to get whats owing to them. racism is alive and Kicking, these men prove it literally. they are idiots, they have families and are well educated, yet they don't think about the repercussions of their actions. they didn't only destroy the lives of the victims family but their own too. so sad.

      Benny66 - 2011-09-01 08:46

      Not only do these men prove that racism is alive but also the alleged actions of their singing cell mates; (in my opinion) the denial of bail by the magistrate (for fear that she will be called a racist heself if she gives bail to whites alleged to have killed a black?)as well as the numerous comments on this blog by presumably black bloggers. Having said that, I believe they should still receive the maximum sentence - should they be found guilty - to act as a deterent to anyone else given the same circumstances.

  • ConcernedMom - 2011-09-01 08:27

    I wish people would see one another as souls and not define them by the colour of their skin. If these men are found guilty then they must pay for their crime.

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-01 10:47

      @ConcernedMom that's my prayer each and everyday.

  • Siinhle - 2011-09-01 08:28

    Surely they're not a flight risk??

      DW - 2011-09-01 08:56

      It seems that they are. They allegedly had planned to escape once they got out on bail and their bags were packed and ready to go. These are men of means with well paying jobs who could afford to clean out their bank accounts and disappers. That is the reason for the bail being denied. It seems it had nothing to do with the colour of their skin.

      Siinhle - 2011-09-01 09:22

      Oh okay true I guess, if you heard that from a credible source, thanks for that

  • Mathanga - 2011-09-01 08:30

    Let the law play its role first then we can comment afterwards. We do not have evidence of what happened. Is it correct to draw conclusions on the matter that of which we don't have full facts about? I do not condone any form of crime either to Africans ("Blacks"), Whites or any other race or nationality for that matter. It is unfortunate that its Whites who are the accused in this case. So, in order for us to have peaceful South Africa, lets put the past behind us and face face all the challenges before us in unity.

  • Neutedop - 2011-09-01 08:34

    They wanted to be The Man when 4 attack 1 guy - nevermind the race. So be The Man now - that's how you took someone elses life - why is it unfair when the same happens to them?

      Neutedop - 2011-09-01 08:35

      Meant if they get in a fight - not get killed though.

      SayWhat? - 2011-09-01 09:22

      Ja, probably did this a couple of times before! They should be kept out of society, finish and klaar!

  • Newsferret - 2011-09-01 08:42


  • Kiran Reddy - 2011-09-01 08:43

    Pigs. I'm a brown person from Durbs and I have never felt comfortable visiting the South Coast, despite the beautiful scenery and cheap drinks, purely because of the racist, inbred trash that live there. No sympathy for these four thugs. 4 on 1! What kind of a fight is that?! The people in their cells, "sing racist songs until late at night". Instant karma lads, it's a new South Africa. Learn to love your brother or go rot in jail.

  • Matimba - 2011-09-01 08:45

    Murder is a criminal case not a race case, why people comment on the issue af race, sick and tired of these racial comments.

  • munchkin.ross - 2011-09-01 09:04

    If it was 4 black guys killing a white guy, it's considered normal and non-racist

      samaritan - 2011-09-01 09:19


      Daemos1 - 2011-09-01 09:19

      great story bro!

      LiciousDee - 2011-09-01 10:49

      double yawn

  • Bok Fan - 2011-09-01 09:22

    Race crimes deserve special attention As long as the matter was heard in open court, the magistrate was competent, and the evidence led was verifiable I am unconcerned whether they got or did not get bail. Unfortunately the competence of our police and our courts is open to question This leaves the entire nation at the mercy of incompetents or worse those with an an axe to grand

      Bongza.GP - 2011-09-01 12:22

      Isn’t it considered treason to question the competency of a country's judicial system without due evidence?

  • Siinhle - 2011-09-01 09:30

    I wonder what the real story was? What provoked these guys to beat this oke up so badly that he ends up dieing? Locals - any inside news?

  • DON VITO - 2011-09-01 09:32

    ey,ey,ey.hold your horses why is it it always BAD when a white man suffers?these lunatics kicked a black man to death and some of you are still defending them.ARE YOU ADDICTED TO CRIMINOLOGY?......18 YEAR OLD BOY FROM JOZI..........

  • DON VITO - 2011-09-01 09:35

    MY heart goes to the victim;s family

  • Jack Turner - 2011-09-01 09:38

    This type of thing happens all over the world. It has nothing to do with race. It's just unfortunate that in this instance it was four white big deal thugs, who beat a 'Black Guy" to death. Its very sad for all the families concerned, both on the victims side, as well as the families of the culprits. Bottom line....they have stuffed up their lives.

      Johannes Viljoen - 2011-09-01 10:04

      Do we feel sorry for the families of the "killers" of farmers as well??????? I feel you dude, but ai I'm just a little worried about what you really feeling here

  • LiciousDee - 2011-09-01 09:42

    Its sooo easy to take a human's life these days and people take it away in a blink of an eye like its not worth anything. Where's the conscious? Crime doers must be punished and that goes to everyone, black, white, pink, yellow etc

  • African_meisie - 2011-09-01 09:44

    This is so sad. So many families broken because of things done when drunk.

  • lonaz - 2011-09-01 09:47

    A year ago my nephew was attacked in Margate by a group of Afrikaans boys. He was walking with a group of his freinds, when out of the blue; without any provocation, they jumped him and beat him to a pulp just for the fun of it. So I really hope these guys get whats coming to them, for the sake of all who have fallen vicitm to such acts.

  • Neil - 2011-09-01 10:57

    Sounds like a vicious attack. It could be argued that their treatment has been a bit harsh if it had been one unfortunate punch that caused the death, but these clowns had to jump on the victim while he was lying on the ground...and there were 4 of them.That says a lot about the type of person you are dealing with here. Enjoy your time behind bars boys, it is where you belong, and long may it last.

  • PhillipF - 2011-09-01 11:29

    Firstly, I am white....ok with that said: Let them pay for their actions. Too many incidents like this marrs the image of the "New South Africa". Then again....I agree with a lot of the comments on here that just because it's white guys who beat up a black guy it's racism but if it was the other way around it would not even have made the papers. The majority of white people I know are really trying to make our country a better place, create jobs and help where they can. But let them just voice their opinion about our country, it's politics or crime then they are labled as racists and scum. Treat each case on it's own, don't generalise or place stereotypes on race or gender. In all honest truth...I think the only person who still has the right idea about "democracy" is Nelson Mandela. He is open, honest and straightforward, not like the politicians we have in power today.

  • Vernon - 2011-09-01 12:06

    Lets put it this way.They have effectively started their jail terms already.

  • Jax - 2011-09-01 13:18

    This makes me so angry...I have read most of the comment the South Africans have to say and that these me are racist and so on but what about the comment you have just written about them is that not been racist too! Yah and what about all the white people who get stabbed (old innocent lady's and young kids) and killed just about ever weekend or week by black people. Nothing ever gets said about that. You use to be able to walk around at night in Margate but not any more cause you know around the alley there is someone ready to attack you for a mingy R10 and maybe a cell phone. Agg you know it works both ways. No one can point finger and say haa you are racist because you are just as guilty for doing the same.

  • Naraku - 2011-09-01 13:59

    Prison is worse for whites than anyone else. It's unfair. That is even true in white countries, because most prisoners are still not white. In this case they are obviously in danger of being murdered, the court must isolate them. Would a western country put a black guy in a cell full of kkk? I think not.

      Johannes Viljoen - 2011-09-01 14:23

      Prisons are dangerous for everybody, albeit black white or whatever!!! Your proposal is flawed in that you ask to differentiate. It also shows your ignorance, as I am sure if these were black guys you would be crying for death penalty, yet here you fear for their lifes? Can you see the irony? I an sure that in your perfect world these dudes should be free, because who cares about one less black guy hey? Dude the only flaw with that is you are being a stupid @ass, which can only be remedied by you waking up and smelling the roses, only thn hopefully will you see the only difference is between people, hard working people like me and you and those criminals!! Theres no black and white in that, that being said if these act was racially motivated, it would do these four a world of good sharing a cell with there BLACK brothers

      Bongza.GP - 2011-09-01 14:33

      Must be hell for 1-legged Chinese.

      Naraku - 2011-09-01 14:36

      I would rather die than go to a jail in SA as a white guy, unfortunately they make a relatively painless death almost impossible, they take away that choice. The fact that it is unpleasant for everyone does not mean it is equally unpleasant. You don't seem to understand what equality is.

      Naraku - 2011-09-01 14:39

      It should not just be based on race either. Violent criminals etc, should be seperated from the others, most definitely.

  • memory.maguire - 2011-09-01 14:20

    usually bail stands at R500 for crimes far worse than this.

      Johannes Viljoen - 2011-09-01 14:28

      Usually refers to a norm? Give an example please?

  • GinSA1 - 2011-09-02 07:52 They deserve to be kept in jail. SA needs to make the Government hear their thoughts on the re-instatement of the death penalty, whether it be a majority who say yes or a majority who say no. Sign for the Referendum

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