AfriForum has welcomed the fact that Magistrate Karien Brits today in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court denied the bail applications of Mohale Shokane and Nkosinathi Mbatha, the two accused persons in the murder of Terence Tegg, as well as attempted murder of J.J. Cassanga. Capt. Robert George Seckle, the investigating officer in the case, also informed AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit that he has arrested another accused this morning who has to appear in court on 21 April. The case was provisionally placed on the roll for 23 June 2022 to allow the State to finalise the investigation.
AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit is currently assisting Michele Bebbington, who was engaged to Tegg, and the Cassanga family in terms of a watching brief.
Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s Private Prosecution Unit, indicated that this is a very positive development and points to the State having a prima facie case against the accused persons. “We feel that justice prevailed today and agree with the magistrate that the accused persons could not prove any exceptional circumstances to justify their release on bail. We also want to compliment the investigating officer on the arrest of another accused and agree with the magistrate that he was a steadfast witness during the bail application.”
Shokane and Mbatha are being accused of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and malicious damage to property. These include crimes that resort under Schedule 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, which means that the onus is on the accused to prove that exceptional circumstances exist which in the interest of justice permits their release on bail.
Magistrate Brits also noted in her judgement that the court must consider why the accused persons would not want the court to view the video footage of the incidents. This follows after the defence team during the bail application initially indicated that they wanted to show the footage in court, but after consultation with their clients withdrew the application. The court also found that there is a danger that the accused persons could interfere with the investigation because their supporters during the bail application attempted to intimidate Capt. Seckle, that they are a flight risk and that the group who attacked Tegg and Cassanga were clearly the aggressors in the situation.