Krugersdorp cop bail hearing postponed

2017-02-06 16:46
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Johannesburg - The bail hearing of convicted murderer and former police officer Titus Mabela was postponed to March by the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

Mabela was one of three police officers who were caught on camera killing suspected robber Khulekani Mpanza in cold blood in Krugersdorp in 2016

He appeared briefly in court with his co-accused Puleng Sebetwa who was convicted of common assault.

On Monday the matter was transferred to the South Gauteng High Court from Palm Ridge at short notice. High Court Judge C Moosa told a nearly packed courtroom that the case could not be heard because the judge hearing the matter was unavailable.

"The court will not be able to hear your case today, as the presiding officer is not available as I understand", said Judge Moosa.  

Judge Moosa further said that Mabela will remain in custody while Sebetwa's bail will be extended to the date of their next appearance.

In December last year Judge Francois van der Westhuizen found that Mabela shot Mpanza unlawfully while he was lying unarmed on the ground.  

Suspect run down a street

Sebetwa was granted bail shortly after his conviction on December 14.

Mabela is seeking bail while awaiting evaluation at Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital before sentencing. Shortly after his conviction, Mabela's application for psychiatric observation was granted.   

A cheerful Mabela, dressed in a blue blazer and jeans, was greeted by family and friends moments before court proceedings. After chatting with family, he spoke briefly with his counsel Advocate Godfrey Lebea.

The officers were arrested after CCTV video footage emerged showing them chasing a gun-wielding Mpanza down the streets of Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg.

Mpanza was first seen firing shots at the police as he ran down the street, damaging one of their vehicles.

One of the officers is seen firing a first shot which resulted in Mpanza falling to the ground and dropping his weapon.

The footage then shows another officer kicking Mpanza, while another officer fires a second shot. Last year Mabela's defence made an application for leave to appeal the court's decision and asked that Mabela be sent for psychiatric observation.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  crime
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