Judgment reserved in bail hearing of alleged Lichtenburg gunman

Jaco du Plooy appearing before the Lichtenburg Magistrate's Court. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)
Jaco du Plooy appearing before the Lichtenburg Magistrate's Court. (Iavan Pijoos/News24)

Lichtenburg – The Lichtenburg Magistrate's Court has reserved judgment in the case of Jaco du Plooy, who allegedly shot and killed 15-year-old Joseph Tshukudu.

Du Plooy appeared in court on Thursday morning. He is charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder. He was remanded.

In his affidavit read out by his lawyer Peet du Plessis, he claimed: "I am innocent... I am not violent."

READ: 'I am innocent, not violent' - alleged Lichtenburg gunman

Du Plooy alleged that the teenager was part of a violent crowd who intended on killing them.

Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said on Wednesday the alleged gunman handed himself over at about 22:00 on Tuesday evening.

He said Joseph was killed along the Boikhutso Road, when a man who was travelling in a white car, got out of his vehicle and opened fire on the group of protesters.

Shot 'between the eyes'

When he realised what he had done, Du Plooy fled the scene. This was the testimony of investigating officer Captain Ratane Monyai during the bail application.

"The deceased was hit in the forehead, between the eyes," Monyai told a packed court gallery on Thursday morning.

"He sped off [in] his vehicle when [a] councillor showed him what he had done."

ALSO READ: 'I will never hear his voice again' - distraught mom of slain Lichtenburg boy

He said Joseph was about 600m to 700m away from the protests when he was shot dead. He was only trying to help divert cars, not approach the violent protest, the captain said.

Monyai said from where Joseph was standing, "there were no stones, there was no burning tyres. We went there three times," he testified.

He believed they had a very strong case against the accused, and that he should not be given bail.

"People on the scene identified the accused."

Accused's family in danger

Du Plooy is a first-time offender. "He has no previous things pending against him," Monyai said.

He added that after fleeing the scene, he drove to another site.

"Till today we don't know the address of the site. The accused could have driven to the nearest police [station] saying that his life was in danger and he shot [someone]."

Monyai said the man is well known to the community.

He also referred to the Coligny matter, where two men were granted bail and later houses were burnt down, after they were charged in the death of 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu.

He said should the accused be granted bail, his family would be in danger.

"Since the address has been identified, I don't think the family is safe. If he is kept in custody, people will feel that we are doing our job," he said.

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