Bungling may deny us justice, say family

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Independent Newspapers


Durban - With one suspect on the run after he was “accidentally” let out of jail and charges against another withdrawn, the family of a murdered Glenwood businessman fear the case against the suspected killers has been badly bungled.

Three men were arrested for the murder of John Naidoo during a robbery at his Glenwood home in September last year but only one is expected to go on trial.

Naidoo was shot in the back while he was trying to open a safe in his bedroom.

His father, Dan Naidoo, said he wanted his son’s killers to be prosecuted.

He was disappointed with the way it was being handled.

“This case has put strain on my family. In more than a year the case has not even got to the trial stage.

“I will not rest until the killers are behind bars. I owe it to John,” he said.

Nkemane Mbonambi, who is the third suspect, is expected to apply for bail next month.

Mbonambi was arrested last month in Joburg in connection with the crime.

His co-accused, Lebo Sibisi, is at large after he was erroneously released on bail owing to an alleged clerical error.

Sibisi and Khehla Mthalane appeared in court on January 23 for a bail application.

While Mthalane was granted bail of R5 000, Sibisi was denied bail because the court ruled it was not in the “interests of justice” to release him.

However, the court clerk issued two J7s - warrant of detention forms which inform prison officials whether bail has been granted - that showed that both men were granted bail of R5 000.

Sibisi and Mthalane were released from Westville Prison in January and Sibisi has not appeared in court since.

The Durban Magistrate’s Court manager, Victor Hlat-shwayo, said a preliminary investigation indicated “no foul play was suspected”.

In May, charges were withdrawn against Mthalane by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) but no reason was noted on the case’s charge sheet.

Naidoo Sr said he found out about the charges being withdrawn only after he enquired about the case. “It is disappointing that they did not even tell me when that happened or why the charges were withdrawn. They do not keep me informed of the developments and it is very upsetting. Why are they not looking for Sibisi?”

NPA spokeswoman Nata-sha Ramkisson-Kara said the docket would have to be requested from the police to establish the reason for the withdrawal.

The police did not respond to questions sent last week.

The Mercury

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