NPA to investigate release of alleged Cape gang hitman released on bail

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  • Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has confirmed the NPA will be looking into the case of an alleged gang hit man who was released on R1 500 bail.
  • Fritz said while the court was given reasons why the accused could be released on bail, the NPA also opposed bail.
  • Fritz decried gangsterism in the province, saying the government must collaborate to fight this social ill.

The National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) will investigate how an alleged gang hitman who was released on R1 500 bail at the Athlone Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

READ | It's complicated: The wife, the hit man, the insurance money and the love triangle

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz says he received confirmation the NPA would be looking into the case.

Mustakim Scullard, 20, faced charges of murder but was released on bail on Tuesday as the presiding magistrate said he was a first-time offender, according to the statement.

The Department of Community Safety wrote to the NPA's acting director saying the prosecuting authority had opposed bail and inquired whether it would appeal the magistrate's decision.

According to the statement, Scullard allegedly shot two rival gang members, killing a 19-year-old, while a 34-year-old managed to escape.

He was identified by witnesses and arrested two days later in Nellie Court, Manenberg, where he was found in possession of a 9mm pistol and 16 live rounds.

"My department's Court Watching Brief have further looked into the case and noted that there were four charges against the accused which include murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Appeared

"The accused first appeared on 20 July 2020 and the matter was postponed until 27 July 2020 for bail information," Fritz said.

He added on 27 July, bail information was provided to the State and the court was informed the case was a schedule six offence, which would require the accused to submit special circumstances to be released on bail.

"The matter was postponed until 11 August 2020 for a formal bail application. On 11 August 2020, the bail application proceedings were extended until 25 August 2020.

"Bail was opposed by the State on both dates. The investigating officer testified in the opposing of the bail application," Fritz said.

On Tuesday, the court was satisfied the accused had shown exceptional circumstances which were in the interest of justice and was released on R1 500 bail.

Cases

The court was told the accused had no pending cases against him and was provided a fixed address.

"While it is important to take into consideration whether a perpetrator is a first-time offender, this should be considered in terms of the context and nature of the crime," Fritz said.

Fritz decried the contribution of gangsterism to violent crime in the province, saying: "Each level of government must work together to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the fight against this social ill.

"Our police officials' hard work should not be met with poor prosecution or the release of a known hit man back onto our streets, putting the lives of innocent and vulnerable people at risk."

He added while the accused was granted bail, the case was still being investigated and he would return to court on 28 October.

ALSO READ | Woman who allegedly hired four hit men to kill her husband appears in court

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