KNYSNA NEWS - With just months to go before trial, another accused in the Victor Molosi murder case is in the process of appealing for bail in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town.
Former Knysna municipal official Mawande Makhala – alongside former Knysna councillor Velile Waxa, Cape Town resident Vela Patrick Dumile and former Knysna Taxi Forum chair Mandla Tyololo – was arrested after Molosi, an ANC Knysna councillor, was gunned down outside his Concordia home on 23 July last year.
All four men were denied bail initially, but Waxa eventually succeeded to be released on R10 000 bail after a successful high court appeal in Cape Town. Tyololo also attempted bail on several occasions but failed.
'Fearing for his life'
This is Makhala's first attempt to appeal the local court's decision last year to deny him bail. His reasons for applying for bail, as stated in a supporting affidavit at the time, included that he was not a flight risk and that he feared for his life.
In her judgement on 20 November 2018, local magistrate Denise Oberholzer pointed out that Makhala's address on the charge sheet contradicted the one reflected in his affidavit. In addition, she considered Makhala a flight risk because his belongings had already been loaded onto a truck by the time police arrested him. During a previous court appearance Makhala said it was because he was fearing for his life, but Oberholzer pointed out during her ruling that at the time of his arrest, it was not public knowledge yet that he was a suspect in the case, and that he was probably on his way to the Eastern Cape.
ANC subregional secretary Moyisi Magelela did not mince his words upon hearing the news.
He called Makhala's bail application a "fly-by-night application," adding that it opens the deep wound left by the murder.
He called upon the state to oppose Makhala's release and cited his application for bail as a provocation of the highest order. "We note that these murder accused are really testing our patience… We have no place for such cruel individuals in our community…
"We call upon the National Prosecuting Authority to seriously investigate who is funding these murder accused, we need to get to the bottom of this."
Confident of a win
The State has confirmed that it would be opposing Makhala's appeal bid, which would be brought on the same grounds as his initial magistrate's court application when he was represented by a Legal Aid lawyer.
When contacted, his legal representative for the high court case, advocate Fikile Shumi, confidently told Knysna-Plett Herald that his client was going to win the appeal but that this was all he was willing to share.
Makhala, Waxa and Dumile, who were charged with Molosi's murder, are scheduled to appear in the George Magistrate's Court on 20 August for a pretrial conference before their trial will start in the Knysna Regional Court on 7 October.
The trial of Tyololo, who is up for conspiracy to murder, is set to start on 28 October.
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