The four words that sealed Miguel Louw's fate
With these words, the fate of Miguel Louw was sealed.
This was the contention of State senior prosecutor Kelvin Singh, delivering his closing argument in the trial of Mohamed Vahed Ebrahim, who is charged with murdering the 9-year-old Sydenham boy.
Singh said that although the State’s case relied largely on circumstantial evidence, there were many reasons why the court should find Ebrahim guilty of Miguel’s kidnapping and murder.
He said Ebrahim had been motivated by being spurned by the woman he had fallen in love with - Miguel’s mother, Raylene Louw - who, after a heated argument, had told him to leave and stay away from her children.
Singh said Ebrahim had left after uttering the threat “I will show you”.
“The court should look at the context of these words to draw the inference of premeditation. Ebrahim should have told us whether he uttered these words, or not. It was he and only he who could explain what he meant by those words,” he said. However, Ebrahim chose not to testify.
Miguel, a pupil at Rippon Road Primary School in Sydenham, went missing on July 17, 2018. He was believed to have been kidnapped soon after leaving school.
Miguel’s body was found in the bushes not far from Ebrahim’s Phoenix home, a few weeks after he went missing.
Singh said yesterday that Ebrahim had used the offer of a KFC meal and Louw’s stolen ID document to lure Miguel into boarding a taxi with him.
The State used the evidence Ebrahim gave when he applied for bail in drawing inferences after he chose not to testify in the main trial.
Singh said that while Ebrahim had claimed during his bail application that Louw was his girlfriend, which was disputed by Louw in her evidence, there was evidence before the court that he had been told to leave. This was corroborated by an SMS Ebrahim sent to Louw, saying “You sent me to go”, at 1.15pm the day Miguel went missing.
Singh said that if this was the time Ebrahim left the house, and according to the KFC CCTV footage he was there at 2.05pm, it had taken him 50 minutes to walk a two-minute stretch from the house to the KFC. This suggested he must have waited for Miguel to come out of school.
Singh said that according to the evidence of Miguel’s sister, Mikayla, Ebrahim had asked her the time Miguel finished school. Another witness testified to seeing him at the school gate that afternoon. The witness said he thought Ebrahim was Miguel’s father and he had previously seen him at the school with Louw.
The KFC video shows Ebrahim taking something out of his back pocket and waving it at Miguel. Singh said having zoomed in, the State was convinced it was an ID document belonging to Louw.
They are both seen exiting the shop, with Ebrahim holding Miguel’s hand.
Singh said Ebrahim had no consent from Louw to pick Miguel up from school and evidence before the court was that there was never a time when he had done so previously.
“His intention was to kidnap Miguel. He used the KFC meal and her ID document to lure Miguel to come with him,” Singh said.