Miguel Louw murder accused appears evasive, inconsistent on the stand

2018-12-12 18:53
Mohammed Ebrahim, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Durban boy Miguel Louw, appears in the Durban Magistrate's Court. (Tania Broughton, News24 Correspondent)

Mohammed Ebrahim, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Durban boy Miguel Louw, appears in the Durban Magistrate's Court. (Tania Broughton, News24 Correspondent)

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The only accused in the murder of nine-year-old Miguel Louw came across as nervous, evasive and inarticulate during his bail hearing in the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Kuveshnie Pillay seemed to have easily identified discrepancies in the testimony of 43-year-old Mohammed Ebrahim.

After reading out a terse affidavit from his client, defence lawyer Chris Gounden unexpectedly put Ebrahim on the stand – a move that appeared to spell disaster.

From the outset, Ebrahim shocked the gallery as Pillay laid into him.

Pillay alleged that Miguel's mother rejected Ebrahim's desire to be in a relationship with her. This, she said, motivated him to harm the boy.

"You wanted to have a relationship and she did not. There was an argument and you were asked to leave that house. Your advances were rejected and that is why you wanted to teach her a lesson and harm the child and that is why you kidnap[ped] the child."

"No, no. That's not true," he responded.

'I was just walking all around'

Pillay said that a witness placed Ebrahim at little Miguel's school on July 17 – the day of his disappearance.

"You claimed to have been waiting for the boy up the road, but we have a sworn statement that you visited the school asking for him."

Ebrahim, who was the last person seen with the boy at a KFC opposite his home in Sydenham, instead said he had taken the nine-year-old for a meal after coincidentally spotting him after school.

He said this was the last time he had seen the boy.

After Ebrahim claimed to have been at his Phoenix home from 20:00 on the day of the boy's disappearance, Pillay revealed cellphone records showing he was in different parts of Phoenix, including Longcroft, Sunford, Eastbury and Grove End.

He then backtracked: "Oh, no. I was just walking all around. I was worried for the boy."

Pillay said Ebrahim was evasive when police sought him between July 17 and his arrest on July 20. She said he ignored calls from various police officials.

He responded saying: "People phoned saying they were looking for me, but I did not believe them. I thought it was a joke."

Bad family ties

Pillay revealed that Ebrahim had poor ties with his family despite claiming otherwise. He conceded to having issues with his sister with whom he also lived, because of "how he played with her kids".

"I have an issue with my sister. We did not communicate properly. She did not like the way I play with my nephews. She was always worried with how I play with them."

Pillay said Ebrahim's father forced him to leave his home in Phoenix.

"I left the house myself last year around July. I left for two months. I get angry sometimes. For me right is right and wrong is wrong. I don't like to fight and argue," said Ebrahim.

His sister had also accused him of stealing jewellery from her.

"She asked me and I said [I] didn't know. She accused me of stealing it."

The matter is expected to return to court on December 19. 

Read more on:    miguel louw  |  durban  |  crime
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