#UnrestSA: Phoenix murder-accused make U-turn on bail application

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Mondli Majola was murdered in Phoenix during the unrest of mid-July.
Mondli Majola was murdered in Phoenix during the unrest of mid-July.
  • Three men accused of murder in Phoenix during the height of the unrest want a continuation of their bail application.
  • The trio had previously abandoned bail when appearing in the Verulam Magistrate's Court.
  • Their request was granted and will now be heard on Friday.

Three men implicated in committing a murder during the unrest in Phoenix, north of Durban, made an about-turn in the Verulam Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

After initially abandoning bail, they requested a continuation of their bail application.

The trio stand accused of murdering 19-year-old Mondli Majola, whose mother, Nombuso Majola, told the media outside court that her son was on his way to a study group, but never returned.

After Majola's family spent four days looking for him, his body was eventually found in the Phoenix mortuary.

To the surprise of all in court, the three murder accused - Dylan Govender, Ned Govender and Jeetendra Jaikissoon - on Wednesday asked the magistrate, Irfan Khalil, to allow a bail application.

"The accused have advised that they want to apply for bail," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Kara said.

The legal representatives for the trio requested segregated custody for the men after allegations that there had been intimidation and threats at Westville Prison.

ALSO READ | Anatomy of a violent July: Data mapping shows unrest was part of tactical plan to shut down SA

The heartbroken mother added that she didn't understand why the accused never showed remorse. She also bemoaned the slow pace of the court proceedings.

Phoenix emerged as a hotbed of racial profiling after Indian residents set up community roadblocks preventing, specifically, black people from entering the area.

Racial tensions among the predominantly Indian Phoenix community and the surrounding black communities of Zwelisha, Amaoti and Bhambhayi were on a knife edge at the height of the unrest.

Since then, Police Minister Bheki Cele set up a peace committee comprising community leaders from all four areas. 

The case continues on Friday.

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