Westbury shooting cases postponed


The cases against two men alleged to be involved in a shooting that left three-year-old Luke Tibbetts dead were postponed in the Newlands Magistrate's Court in Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

Lindray Khakhu, 24, who allegedly shot Tibbetts in Westbury on August 2, was the first to return to court on Tuesday, just after 10am.

Magistrate Koos Pretorius postponed the case against him to August 29 for a formal bail application.

The courtroom where Khakhu appeared was filled to capacity as several heavily armed policemen lined the one side and a large number of journalists and photographers the other. The public waited keenly for his appearance.

Khakhu, wearing a grey jacket and jeans, put his head down when photographers took pictures of him.

People sitting inside the courtroom had earlier been ordered out by police to be frisked and to have their bags searched before they could enter again. The court heard that Khakhu faced 18 charges, including murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, and pointing a firearm.

Prosecutor Dion van Wyk requested that the court transfer the murder case to the high court.

"We will see what happens on the [29th of August]," said Pretorius.

Khakhu was already down to appear in the high court on September 3 on charges related to another case.

Van Wyk also requested that the court transfer Khakhu from the Johannesburg police station to Johannesburg Central Prison, commonly known as "Sun City".

However, his lawyer Rowen Meth said his client's safety would be compromised at the prison.

The State's request to have Khakhu moved to the prison was not granted and he would remain in custody at the Johannesburg police station.

Khakhu was arrested after people who witnessed the shooting identified him and reported the matter to the police.

Keenan Mokwena, 28, appeared in the same court just before 11am on Tuesday for allegedly pointing a firearm in the shooting.

Magistrate Elmarie Engelbrecht postponed the matter to August 18 to allow the State to obtain further evidence.

He often glanced into the public gallery while in the dock.

Investigating officer Sergeant Diedelof Fourie said during his testimony that police needed more time to obtain certain dockets and present them to the court.

He said various cases, including housebreaking, car theft, and robbery had been opened against Mokwena.

"According to our information, none of the matters have been finalised."

Mokwena and Tibbetts were travelling in Westbury in different vehicles during the shooting on August 2. They were taken to nearby hospitals after the shooting.

Mokwena was shot in his right arm. He was treated and discharged.

Tibbetts was critically wounded and died in hospital on August 8. He had been on life support machines since the event.

Protesters had gathered outside the court on Tuesday morning, ahead of the men's appearances.

Several people from Voice of the People of SA (VPSA) screamed "No bail for child killers".

Several people outside the court wore T-shirts with the words "Say no to drugs" printed on them.


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