Port Elizabeth – Defence lawyer George Malgas who is representing a man accused of kidnapping a 10-year old boy indicated in the Port Elizabeth magistrate’s court on Wednesday that his client was willing to turn state’s witness in terms of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Two friends, Leon Bekkies and Denro Williams, who are from the city’s northern areas, are applying for bail after they allegedly kidnapped a young pupil outside a school aftercare centre in Mill Park in February.
Malgas is representing Bekkies who has indicated that he is to turn state’s witness.
According to the charge sheet, “the kidnappers demanded a sum of R50 000 from [the child’s] father”.
The court heard how on that day the tearful boy feared for his life and later managed to alert a woman who then contacted the child’s mother.
Williams took the stand and refused to answer any questions with regards to the merits of the case.
Malgas put it to Williams that he was dragging Bekkies into this as his client was under the impression that he was being fetched for a job.
It emerged in court that Williams, Bekkies and another unidentified suspect who has not been added to the case were involved in the alleged kidnapping.
The state indicated that Williams was linked to the case because his red VW vehicle was traced to the scene and, in addition, he was found in possession of keys which belonged to Horizon Staff Solutions where the little boy was kept.
It further emerged that Williams was an employee at the recruitment agency and was the only one with access to the keys of the premises.
The state is alleging that Williams and a third suspect are the masterminds behind the crime and expanded on a “confession” that Williams had earlier made.
“You indicated that you were instructed to get this boy because you were threatened and your family members were threatened and that’s why you went through with this kidnapping,” the state contended.
Meanwhile, Bekkies indicated by way of affidavit that he intended to plead not guilty to the charges against him as he thought he was being fetched by Williams for a job as a fork lift driver in Perseverance.
“I was aware that he was working at a recruitment agency, he fetched me in the morning, we met on the street corner. There was a third person in the car and he said that he was going to fetch his boss’s son from school,” the affidavit read.
The court further heard how Bekkies was left alone at the premises with the child, and it appears that the child managed to call for help when Bekkies left.
The state is opposing bail based on the fact that the case was high profile in nature and both accused know the whereabouts of the child’s school.
The case was postponed until March 3 for the continuation of the bail hearing.
The accused are being detained separately.