Kimberley - An 18-year-old teenager, who appeared in the De Aar Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the murder of three members of the Makaleni family, had to be forcibly removed from the dock by police officials after he repeatedly questioned why his alleged accomplices had not been arrested.
The teenager, whose identity cannot be revealed following a ruling by the town’s local magistrate, said he didn’t “want to go down alone”. He is facing charges of housebreaking with intent to murder and murder.
The bodies of Glenwill Makaleni, 40, his wife Gladys, 38, and their 10-year-old son, Gladwill, were discovered in the early hours of Saturday, November 5 by a family member after they had been stabbed to death in their home in Caroluspoort Street in De Aar.
Both Glenwill, affectionately known as “Knappie”, and Gladys were employed by the Department of Education in the Pixley ka Seme District and their deaths sent shock waves through the community.
The couple’s daughter, who was sleeping at her grandparents’ house on the night on the incident, escaped the carnage.
The 18-year-old youth was arrested shortly after the incident.
During Monday’s bail application, the magistrate, Christopher Abrahams, ruled that the name of the accused could not be used in the media and also that no pictures could be taken of him in order to protect his safety, after his legal representative addressed the court on the issue.
A massive police presence gathered at the court premises on Monday morning and the road in front of the building was cordoned off and closed to traffic.
Around 50 police officials, including public order police, were deployed to the town and were on duty as a large group of community members gathered outside the court.
As proceedings started, the entrance to the public gallery was strictly controlled and once all the seating had been taken, no one else was permitted to enter.
As soon as the magistrate postponed the case to February next year, the accused raised his hand and questioned where the other three suspects were and why they had not been arrested.
He repeatedly mentioned their names in court and said he could not “go down alone for this thing”.
Family members of the accused, as well as his defence lawyer, tried to silence him but he again questioned why he was alone in the dock.
The magistrate, Abrahams, pointed out that if he had something that he wanted to bring to the court’s attention, he had to consult his legal representative.
Eventually the police were requested by the magistrate to escort him from the dock, amidst cheering and jubilation from members of the public in the gallery, who had to be brought to order by court officials.
Outside the court, members of the public vowed to fetch the three mentioned by the accused, stating that they were known convicts, who were often in and out of jail.
“If the police don’t want to take action, we will do it ourselves,” angry community members said.
According to members of the public, the three were taken in for questioning by the police and then released.
“This isn’t the first time that the accused has mentioned their involvement in the case,” they pointed out.
“One of them even threatened that he would go on a raping spree over the Christmas period, and would rape young and old. We cannot have these people walking around freely.”
The crime-fighting group, Rise Up, who are active in the community, met the investigating officer (IO) in an attempt to diffuse the situation.
“According to the IO, the police are unable to arrest the three men implicated because their alleged involvement has not been stated under oath,” a spokesman for Rise Up said after the meeting.
“However, we feel that justice is not being done and the police are dragging their feet. The IO said that he will get a statement from the accused and afterwards further arrests may be made. We will follow up later today (Monday) and by 4pm we want to know what has happened in this regard.”
Members of the community echoed the group’s sentiments and said they felt that the police were not doing anything. “Known criminals are being allowed to walk free.”
The bail application was postponed to February for further investigation.
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