Civil rights organisation AfriForum says it is concerned about the court’s handling of the bail application by a Glencoe farmer accused of murdering a teen.
Garth Simpson, who appeared before the Glencoe Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, is charged with murdering Qiniso Dlamini (17), who was shot dead at Simpson’s farm in Glencoe in September. Simpson was also charged for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
Dlamini was killed while gathering his family’s cattle from Simpson’s farm.
AfriForum said it took the court more than a month to give the record to the organisation’s legal team to draw up the appeal application against the court’s decision not to grant bail.
“His case was in court today so that the ballistic reports could be handed over. The case was postponed until December 14 to allow the public prosecutor to finalise the docket. Simpson will remain in custody,” said AfriForum on Saturday.
The organisation was of the opinion that the reasons given to deny bail are insufficient.
The court, among other issues, argued that Simpson’s bail was denied for his own safety since his case had sparked community outrage, which resulted in a series of protests during his court appearances.
AfriForum previously announced that it would offer Simpson legal assistance. This because it seemed that Simpson displayed a good defence and he could possibly be successful provided that he had excellent legal representation during the hearing, and that “he does not fall victim to now clichéd political and racial-based accusations”.
As a rule, AfriForum said, the organisation did not usually get involved in individual cases, but the organisation made an exception with Simpson’s case because there were bigger issues at stake that did not only affect him, but also the broader community.
Ernst Roets, AfriForum’s head of policy and action, added that farmers daily experienced numerous problems such as crime, illegal grazing, land grabs and farm attacks. “Politicians, who regularly make statements against farmers and encourage expropriation without compensation, create a tense atmosphere in various rural areas.”