Rameez Patel trial: Exhibits missing and magistrate's notes tampered with

Rameez Patel appears in the Polokwane Magistrate's court. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)
Rameez Patel appears in the Polokwane Magistrate's court. (Marietie Louw-Carstens, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

Strange developments have occurred in the trial of double murder accused Rameez Patel in the Limpopo High Court.

Much to the shock of the those in the public gallery of the court, Judge Joseph Raulinga revealed that his notes had been tampered with in his office and that a statement had gone missing.

In addition, it emerged that the defence was in possession of transcribed court records which the State didn't have and which was ordered to be kept under lock and key in the office of the judge president.

"There has been a lot of things happening around [the case]," Raulinga said.

The missing statement was that of Patel's brother, Razeen.

In it, he claimed that the accused's previous defence lawyer, Tumi Mokoena, ordered him to tamper with evidence.

The shock revelations emerged when new defence lawyer Meshack Thipe told the court that he was in possession of the transcribed court records.

The court records became a central issue after an argument about dates for leave to appeal a ruling relating to Patel's application for a discharge.

In January, Raulinga dismissed the discharge application, finding that there was a prima facie case against the accused.

Raulinga ordered that the person who removed the CD containing the court records depose to an affidavit within the next two weeks to explain why the information was removed.

He also ordered that Razeen's original statement be made available to the court within two weeks.

"If it cannot be produced, an affidavit must be filed within two weeks [to say what] happened to the statement," Raulinga said.

The case was postponed to July 22 for the leave to appeal application.

Patel is accused of killing his wife Fatima at their house in Nirvana, Polokwane in 2015.

Razeen previously testified against him.

Razeen implicated Rameez in the murder and implicated his wife, Nazreen, in destroying the evidence.

Patel's mother, Mahajeen, was later killed after Razeen told her of the circumstances of Fatima's death.

Patel still has to stand trial for his mother's murder.

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