Clover-attacks: Bail application still not finalised

The proceedings in the bail application of Mohale Shokane and Nkosinathi Mbatha, the two persons who are being accused of the murder of Terence Tegg, the ex-Recce who died during the Clover-strike, as well as attempted murder on J.J. Cassanga, one of the guards who sustained serious injuries during the brutal attack, was today once again postponed to 13 April. This follows after the examination of the state witness, Capt. Robert George Seckle, was concluded today, but the legal representatives of the accused persons indicated that they were not ready to argue today.

AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is currently, in terms of a watching brief, assisting Michelle Bebbington, who was engaged to Tegg, as well as the Cassanga family.

“We are satisfied that both the investigating officer, Capt. Seckle, as well as the prosecutor made out a strong case about why the accused persons’ bail application should not succeed. It is important to remember that, in serious crimes such as these, the onus is on the accused persons to prove that exceptional circumstances exist, which in the interest of justice, permits their release. Magistrate Karien Brits also pointed out this fact to the defence today. We are convinced that the granting of bail would not be in the interest of justice in this case,” says Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit.

Mbatha’s legal representative today during the cross-examination of Capt. Seckle argued that his client suffers from high blood pressure, but the captain indicated that this accused has never requested medication for this condition. The court also heard that Mbatha has to follow a special diet and therefore should be released on bail. Furthermore, his apparent condition was held as the reason for Mbatha, according to his version, trying to flee, because he tries to avoid “high-energy situations” and merely tried to hide on the premises where he was arrested to escape from this situation. Capt. Seckle, however, pointed out that there is clear video footage of where Mbatha tries to escape from the premises where he was hiding before he is arrested by the SAPS?

In answer to a statement by the defence that neither the strikers, nor the accused persons are violent, Capt. Seckle testified that he had been threatened by the strikers outside of court and that the defence advocate apologised to him for this. Seckle stated that, if they could threaten him, witnesses are even more vulnerable to such threats.

Capt. Seckle, in answer to questions that the court put to him, answered that, from the video footage, there is no evidence that any of the accused persons attempted to disassociate themselves from the group who launched the attacks on Tegg and Cassange, and also that they in no way attempted to stop the attacks on the victims.

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