Somalia shop owner's bail bid postponed

2015-02-04 14:02

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Johannesburg - The bail bid of the Somalian shop owner accused of shooting dead a Soweto teenager was postponed in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Magistrate Herman Badenhorst postponed the case against Alodixashi Sheik Yusuf to Friday to give the State time to verify his refugee status.

Dressed in a grey hooded sweater, Yusuf followed proceedings through an interpreter.

He was told he faces charges of murder, attempted murder, and illegal possession of a firearm.

In an affidavit read to the court by his lawyer, Simon Senosi, Yusuf explained how 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori died outside his shop in Snake Park, Soweto, on Monday, 19 January.

Yusuf said he had just closed shop when a group of people tried to open the roller door. Others were on the roof.

As he and his brother pushed the door down, one of the people outside the shop dropped their firearm.

The firearm landed in the shop and he and his brother managed to shut the door.

Yusuf said he picked up the gun and fired at the roller door and the roof.

The crowd remained outside and police arrived a short while later.

"I then saw there was a boy shot," Yusuf said in his statement.

Another man had been shot in the arm.

Yusuf told the court he intended pleading not guilty to the charges.

He said he had been assaulted in prison and received no help from the police.

The divorced father of one had been in the country for nine years and had no assets in Somalia. He said he was not a flight risk.

The State opposed his bail bid. Reading from an affidavit by the investigating officer, prosecutor Simphiwe Mthethwa said Yusuf had no family in the country. His home address and refugee status had not yet been verified.

The investigating officer recommended Yusuf be kept behind bars for his own safety.

Mahori's death led to days of looting of foreign-owned shops in Soweto and other parts of Gauteng, during which at least seven people, including a one-month-old baby boy, were killed in the province. Four Ethiopians were attacked and wounded in their shop in Nsuze, near Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal.

Several foreign nationals were in court for Wednesday's proceedings. However, it seemed as though none of Mahori's relatives were present.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  soweto unrest

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