Johannesburg - The families of Clayton Peacock and Merlin Boswell screamed with joy on Wednesday when acting Judge JJ Strijdom found the two not guilty of murder.
The men were charged with the murder of reformed gangster Bonaventure Brian Maynard, who was killed in January last year outside his Reiger Park home.
In addition to the murder charge, the two were also facing five charges of attempted murder.
On Wednesday, at the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, the acting judge rejected the evidence of the State witnesses, citing a lack of facts pinpointing the direct involvement of the two accused.
He acquitted the two accused on all charges.
Peacock’s father, who did not want to be named, said the two men were initially tried by a prejudiced Boksburg court. He said he was happy that justice had finally prevailed.
“They were falsely implicated on 12 charges, and all of them have been dropped,” he said.
As the men hugged their families in jubilation, Maynard’s family quietly walked out of the court to talk to State prosecutor Johan Badenhorst.
They looked deflated as they left the court building.
“This is a classic case of a bomb case when one person makes a false charge,” said defence lawyer Andries le Grange.
Peacock’s family stood by their son and claimed that gangsters from the Reiger Park area who were guilty of the crimes had tried to implicate their relatives.
“We don’t know what it will be like now (in Reiger Park), but we are glad our child is free,” said another Peacock relative.
Although Boswell, who is believed to be part of the Terribles gang, was acquitted on the six charges, he remains in custody as he faces another charge relating to the murder of Marvin Jordaan, who was shot in the head while sitting in his car in Reiger Park in 2012.
In 2012 and last year, the streets of Reiger Park were ridden with gang violence. In the space of a month, the area experienced eight shootings and three deaths.