'Baby killers get no bail' – 4 accused of Ocean View shooting to remain behind bars

2018-09-21 13:02
Cindy Woodward outside the Western Cape High Court after four of the men accused of killing her daughter Zahnia in a shooting in Ocean View were denied bail. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Cindy Woodward outside the Western Cape High Court after four of the men accused of killing her daughter Zahnia in a shooting in Ocean View were denied bail. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cindy Woodward burst into tears after four of the five people accused of murdering her baby and attempting to murder 11 others, were denied bail in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

"I'm crying because I am happy," Woodward, from Ocean View, said after Judge Mushtak Parker found it would not be in the interests of justice to release Christopher September, Larry Johnson, Taswill Kriel and Morné May ahead of their trial.

In their bail application, the accused argued that the State's case was weak and that they had been behind bars awaiting trial for more than 18 months.

Read: 'If they get bail, we'll run them over with a car' - mom of slain baby

According to the State's summary of facts, September, Johnson, Kriel and May had been driving in Johnson's VW Golf in Ocean View in the late afternoon of December 30, 2016. Each of the men was armed with a gun and opened fire on people as they sat in a road and a nearby park.

After firing a volley of bullets, they allegedly shot at two people who attempted to stop them as they fled, the prosecution maintained.

Six-month-old Zahnia and her father Bradley Robyn had been at the park. She was hit by a bullet while on her father's arm. At the time, Robyn reached for her dummy after she spat it out and the bullet hit her in her head. Her father was also shot in his thigh but still managed to drive Zahnia to the hospital.

Cindy returned from work and had just gotten out of a taxi when she heard that her baby had been hit. Zahnia died in the ambulance while being transferred to the Red Cross Children's Hospital, with her mother at her side.

Robyn and four other people were hit during the shooting. Six others were also shot at but escaped uninjured.

The car was only discovered several days later. According to the State, Simaney Kindo and Mirriam Johnson had hidden the vehicle from police to help the alleged gunmen evade prosecution.

Read more: Baby Zahnia murder: One accused admits to hiding car used in shooting

Kindo entered into a plea and sentencing agreement and was handed a four-year sentence for obstructing the course of justice.

Johnson, accused number five, is currently out on bail.

Parker pointed out that September had contacted a witness via Facebook to ask if she would testify, while Johnson's house and car had been burnt out following the shooting.

He added that there were concerns over the safety of the accused if they were released.

cindy woodward
Members of the public pray in thanks after four of the five people accused of murdering baby Zahnia were denied bail in the Western Cape High Court  (Tammy Petersen, News24)

The court was also handed a petition, containing more than 600 signatures from Ocean View residents, which demanded that the accused remain in custody.

In the gallery, supporters held up posters bearing Zahnia's smiling face as Parker read his judgment.

"Baby killers get no bail", one read.

Outside, members of the public prayed in thanks.

The trial commences on October 8.

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Read more on:    zahnia woodward  |  cape town  |  courts  |  crime

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