The civil rights organisation, AfriForum has expressed disappointment at the decision of the Glencoe Magistrate’s court to deny Garth Simpson bail.
Simpson, a farmer from Glencoe, appeared in court on October 21 for a case of murder and the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Simpson is charged with the murder of a Glencoe teenager, Qiniso Dlamini (17) who was shot and killed last month.
However, AfriForum has announced that it will take the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal to appeal the decision taken at the Glencoe Magistrate’s court.
Head of Policy at AfriForum Ernst Roets told The Witness that they are concerned that there is political interference in the case.
“We are concerned in this particular case that there are attempts by political parties, political groups and activists to make a political spectacle out of the matter by threatening [Simpson] and his family in a way that appears as if they influence the legal process outside the court,”Roets said.
He told The Witness that AfriForum has appointed a criminal law expert Dr Llewelyn Curlewis to investigate the matter.
“Based on his feedback in terms of what happened, we believe he has a very strong case... The question from what we gather is whether his license was renewed. That is not the same as be having an illegal firearm.
“There is a video of the incident. [In a video],there is also a context surrounding what happened. There are a lot of facts that have to be taken into account which we have investigated. I am sure these things will come out in court based on the feedback we have received. We believed that his conduct on that day was within the ambits of the law and therefore he should not be found guilty.
“We believe he deserves bail just because what the law states in terms of bail. Firstly, whether someone should be granted bail or not, should not have anything to do with punishment. It’s simple a matter of will a person flee, is there a high probability that a person will interfere with the case by tampering with evidence. We are concerned that none of these variables are applicable here. ... If the court is concerned about his safety, I don’t think that should be a reason to deny him bail,” he said.
The incident has sparked community anger with local residents calling for justice to be served.
The matter was postponed until November 25 for further investigations. Simpson will remain in custody until his next court appearance.