Rameez Patel murder case witnesses skip protection programme

2016-02-15 13:00
Rameez Patel. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Netwerk24)

Rameez Patel. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Netwerk24)

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Polokwane - Key state witnesses in the murder trial of Limpopo businessman Rameez Patel have disappeared, and their relatives do not know their whereabouts, a high court heard on Monday.

Prosecutor Mashudu Mudau told Judge Frans Kgomo in the Polokwane Division of the High Court that this could jeopardise the State’s case against Patel.

The witnesses, both Zimbabweans who were working for Patel, were under a witness protection programme. One was Patel’s domestic worker and the other was employed in his store.

Both had left the programme because they were not comfortable with it, and without the investigating officer’s knowledge.

Mudau asked for the trial to be postponed until the witnesses were found.

Patel was arrested in April last year after he was linked to the murder of his wife Fatima. She was beaten, strangled and shot in the couple's rented apartment in Nirvana, Polokwane.

Defence lawyer Tumi Mokoena objected to the postponement, arguing that it would prejudice his client.

Read more on:    rameez patel  |  polokwane  |  crime

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