Cape Town - The man accused of killing Firdous Kleinsmidt has abandoned his right to bail.
Lorenzo Brown made his second court appearance in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court yesterday, after he was arrested last Tuesday in connection with Kleinsmidt’s murder.
The 12-year-old girl was struck by a stray bullet at Ieglassi Nieyah Primary School in Beacon Valley on January 30.
On that morning, a WhatsApp message on crime groups warned parents who had children in the area that there was a gang war and they should be vigilant.
Kleinsmidt’s transport had arrived and as she was walking towards it, she was hit by the bullet in her eye.
Her transport driver said she saw her collapse in front of her.
People tried to give the Lentegeur girl cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but she was declared dead by paramedics.
On the night of the shooting, residents went and burnt the car at Brown’s home.
His mother told the Cape Argus: “First of all, I would like to extend my condolences to the family of the deceased. I saw the news report of all these high people that were in court and I asked myself why they were there and my answer is political.
“I didn’t raise a gangster. Point. I worked 15 hours a day, seven days a week to provide for my family and look at what Pagad did to my house and my car. Yes, those things don’t belong to Lorenzo. It is mine, worked for with money I worked hard for and earned with blood, sweat and tears.
“And my question is, how do you convict a person and spread a picture of a person without him being found guilty? So again, what happened with innocent until proven guilty? So again Pagad can do what they want to in the name of what, justice? I don't think so.
“There are people in the road who saw Lorenzo at home at the time of the shooting, but are too scared to come forward. And another thing is, why don’t the police say that the key witness is a rival gang member? Just saying. People, before you make assumptions or judge, get your facts together.”
Brown was arrested last Wednesday and made his first appearance on Friday, when the court heard that he had faced a murder charge before, but it had been provisionally withdrawn.
Yesterday, the National Prosecuting Authority said the accused had abandoned his right to apply for bail.
“The case has been postponed until March 28 for further investigation.”
Lynn Phillips of the Cape Flats Safety Forum said she welcomed Brown’s decision to abandon bail.
“I think he thought of his safety after the protest that happened.
“Now this is a challenge for communities to be assertive with regards to retaliation from certain gangs, and that is an issue. He was wanted and the community has to be very vigilant.”