Winnie Rust murder accused moved to single cell after gang fears

2016-09-21 12:27
Nigel Plaatjies is led to the police vehicle. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Nigel Plaatjies is led to the police vehicle. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Winnie Rust murder accused Nigel Plaatjies has been moved to a single cell at the Allandale Prison and has not been injured in any way, the Western Cape Department of Correctional Services confirmed on Wednesday.

This followed rumours on social media that the 18-year-old promising athlete had been attacked on Tuesday, with some stating as a fact that he had been killed.

Department spokesperson Simphiwe Xako refuted the allegations, but said Plaatjies had been given his own cell.

“It seems as though he was being forced to join one of the gangs. The Department of Correctional Services is monitoring the situation in order to ensure safety for everyone,” he said.

Nigel and his uncle Johannes Plaatjies are accused of killing Rust in her Third Avenue, Uitsig, home on May 11, while her husband slept upstairs.

Police believe Rust was killed in a burglary gone wrong.

Bail application

Plaatjies on Monday reapplied for bail in the Wellington Magistrate's Court on the basis of new facts.

His newly appointed attorney Paul Marais told the court that the star athlete and his mother, Lien, along with two other witnesses, would testify when the matter is heard on October 14.

The pair were denied bail in June when Magistrate Alvin Saptoe ruled that the State had a strong prima facie case. The two did not give evidence during their bail application.

According to investigating officer Cornelius de Lange, Nigel denied being at the author's home on the day of her murder. A witness insisted that they had seen him at the scene that day.

His mother was the domestic worker of Rust's daughter. Rust had paid for Nigel's school fees and sports activities since he was in Grade 7 and the athletics star regularly visited her at her home.

Rust's husband, Dr Manie Rust, 87, found her body when he was woken by the ringing of the gate bell at 15:30. She was on the kitchen floor and had injuries to her face. She had been strangled and her hands and feet were bound.

If convicted, the two could face life behind bars.

Nigel has no prior convictions, while Johannes had been convicted of a string of crimes, including housebreaking, eight theft convictions, two for assault and two for drunken driving.

He pleaded not guilty to armed robbery and murder. Johannes is yet to plead.

Marais declined to comment on Wednesday.

Read more on:    nigel plaatjies  |  cape town  |  prisons

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