Bail for alleged gangster

2016-11-02 10:10
Derrick Williams at an earlier appearance in the magistrate’s court.

Derrick Williams at an earlier appearance in the magistrate’s court. (File)

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The brother of the alleged leader of the so-called “Williams gang” in Pietermaritzburg, Derrick Williams (37), was quietly released from prison on Tuesday after renewing his bail bid on “new facts”.

The decision of the court to grant him bail of R5 000 — to which strict conditions are attached — was based mainly on the length of time that Williams has already spent in custody awaiting trial without a trial date being set in the matter.

Williams and his co-accused, Siboniseni Mariken (who was granted bail earlier for medical reasons), were arrested following a shootout with police officers near the Keg and Hedgehog in Montrose on April 30 this year.

According to evidence at their first bail hearing, the gang allegedly tried to steal a car near the restaurant and were confronted by police who had been observing them.

Williams’s brother, Ian Williams, and another alleged accomplice, Luwazi Xulu, were shot dead during the incident, while Derrick and Mariken were wounded.

The court was told that three unlicensed 9 mm firearms were found in the gang’s car, as well as a stolen police gun, several spent cartridge cases, a police radio, tools and computer equipment used to bypass vehicle security systems.

When Williams and Mariken initially applied for bail in May and June this year, magistrate M. Boikhutso refused to grant either of the men bail on grounds that she considered them a threat to public order and security.

Her decision followed testimony by the investigating officer Robin Mays at the time that threats had been made on the lives of policemen involved in the gun battle with the alleged gang members.

A few weeks later, however, Boikhutso agreed to release Mariken on bail on strict conditions due to medical evidence that doctors needed to perform a CAT scan on him to determine if the bullets that were still lodged in his brain could further harm him. The procedure could not be carried out while Mariken stayed in custody.

Advocate Martin Krog on Tuesday launched a fresh bail application on behalf of Williams on grounds that it was prejudicial to him to have to stay in jail while investigations into his alleged crimes continued.

Krog complained that the state had not yet produced an indictment, nor set a trial date even though Williams had been in jail for six months.

Williams undertook to comply with any bail conditions imposed on him.

After considering the matter, Boikhutso ruled that it was in the interests of justice for Williams to be granted bail, but warned him that he has to report daily to Alexandra police station, and may not enter the city of Pietermaritzburg except to go and report to the police station. He also may not communicate or interfere in any way with potential state witnesses.

Williams and Mariken are charged with attempted theft of a motor vehicle, attempted murder of five policemen and illegal possession of a firearm.

They have also been charged with other cases, including a R1 million jewellery heist at Liberty Midlands Mall, housebreaking and theft of cash and goods from Spar shops in Hayfields and Hilton and the attempted theft of a bakkie in Hilton during March and April this year.

The two men are due to appear in court again on December 6.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder case

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