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Three men accused of killing Mondli Majola in Phoenix during civil unrest battle to get bail; post mortem confirms victim was shot and stabbed

Dylan Govender, Ned Govender and Jeetendra Jaikisson at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Dylan Govender, Ned Govender and Jeetendra Jaikisson at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Tumi Pakkies/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 21, 2021

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DURBAN - A NEW post-mortem on Wednesday revealed that Mondli Majola, who was killed in Phoenix during the July unrest, died from a gunshot wound to the face and stab wounds on his thigh.

The initial post-mortem found that Majola had died from stab wounds, which the State had disagreed with, so they had Majola’s body exhumed for a second post-mortem.

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The three Phoenix men accused of killing Majola on Wednesday continued their application for bail in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court.

Dylan and Ned Govender and Jeetendra Jaikissoon also face a charge of attempted murder.

They were arrested on July 22. The State claimed the men acted in common purpose during an attack on five people walking on Palmview Drive in Phoenix. During the attack, Majola was killed.

The court on Wednesday viewed CCTV footage of the incident. Detectives allege that Dylan shot Majola in the head, which Dylan denies. A post-mortem conducted by the Department of Health Forensic Pathology Services on July 19 revealed that Majola died of stab wounds to the left thigh.

The State was unhappy with this report and exhumed Majola’s body last week. He had been buried in Flagstaff, Eastern Cape.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Thabani Buthelezi told the court that a new post-mortem result stated that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the face and stab wounds to the left thigh.

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He said a second pathologist also agreed on the cause of death. Buthelezi told the court that the first post-mortem result was flawed.

Defence attorneys Carl van der Merwe, Christo van Schalkwyk and Chris Gounden argued that the core issue disputed in the bail application was the cause of death.

Van der Merwe called the new report controversial. He said the State refused their proposal to have a private pathologist present. “Thus far the State’s case has many hiccups,” he said.

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The attorneys also said the trial could have begun in July, and that their clients should not spend any more time behind bars. Van Schalkwyk brought to the court’s attention that the second report did not have the wound to the head, and that the description of the wounds differed between reports. Their appeal to challenge the new report next Thursday was granted by Magistrate Irfaan Khalil.

Also fighting to be released on bail were Yubandra Govender, Rinesh Mohan, Mehmood Khan, McKallen Govender, Sholan Reddy, Khalil Mohammed, Christopher Pillay, Kirosh Maharaj and Sumeeth Maharaj. They appeared in the same court on Tuesday.

The men face charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and public violence. The murder charge relates to the death of a man who was captured on CCTV footage fleeing a mob on JG Champion (Northern) Drive in Phoenix in July.

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According to the POST, investigating officer John Winkel told the court the suspects were charged because they acted in common purpose, and did nothing to stop the attack.

According to attorneys Rajen Nathalal and Chris Gounden, there was insufficient evidence to deny their clients’ bail. The matter was adjourned until October 25.

The accused were remanded to the Department of Correctional Services Westville.

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