‘God is great’ cries mom as policeman denied bail
Thabiso Eugene Mchunu, 37, is facing a charge of attempted murder after he allegedly forced the victim into his vehicle at a local petrol station and then took her to his home where he ordered her to strip naked, shoved a firearm in her mouth and threatened to kill her.
He allegedly attempted to suffocate her with a plastic bag, assaulted her, pepper sprayed her face and genitals and then poured boiling water from a kettle on to her. The incident took place on June 5.
Mchunu is a SAPS constable who works at uMlazi police station.
In his testimony in the bail hearing, he denied all the allegations.
In denying bail, magistrate Asheena Bacharam said she had to take Mchunu’s previous behaviour into consideration as well as the seriousness of the charge, the interests of society, which included the victim’s family, and the prevalence of the crime allegedly committed.
“With regard to the evidence tendered the following has emerged and a lot of it has not been disputed by the attorney. The victim and witnesses are known to the applicant and he is a threat to her family,” she said.
“It was not disputed that there were previous criminal cases that were opened against the accused. The investigating officer stated that the victim and all her family fear the accused, they fear for her well-being and they fear for their lives. The wounds are very, very serious.”
Bacharam said gender-based violence (GBV) was “very prevalent” in South Africa which had the highest rate of the crime in the world.
“Unfortunately during this pandemic that has affected the country, we have a situation where there has been a drastic increase in GBV.
“According to the statistics currently, the offence of GBV is at an all-time high. It is something happening throughout the world. In SA if you follow the media there have been situations where there have been deaths.”
Bacharam said the fact that Mchunu had told the court that if he was released he would go and talk to the victim’s family with a view to reconciling with her amounted to “interference”.
“You have an intention, you want to have a relationship with her and this is the concern of the court. The court has to consider the interests of society.”
The victim’s mother breathed a sigh of relief and lifted her hands, crying out, “God is great”.