Port Elizabeth - A 40-year-old man, charged with brutally beating his wife to death with a rock and stabbing his own son, was denied bail for the third time on Monday, in the Port Elizabeth High Court.
Dene Stebuys' bail was refused by Judge Pops Mageza who said that there was little doubt that the State's case against Stebuys was very strong, adding that there was a risk he would intimidate witnesses.
Stebuys had earlier complained of deplorable prison conditions and his health being negatively affected. He claimed that he was stressed out and there was a lot of "fighting, swearing and the spilling of blood" at prison.
However, Mageza said: "High levels of stress in the society that everyone lives in are now normal and prison is no exception".
On attempting to prove exceptional circumstances, Mageza said that it was clear that there was little Stebuys could muster other than the complaints relating to his health.
Stebuys had brought his bail application on new facts based on the concern that his trial Judge, Phakamisa Tshiki was unavailable up until next year. He had stressed several times that he had been in custody for one year and five months.
However, Mageza said that this was an administrative issue and could easily be resolved if both counsel approached the office of the Judge President.
The trial against Stebuys got underway earlier in May this year.
Less than a month before Marilyn Stebuys was brutally murdered, allegedly by her husband, she obtained an interim protection order against him out of fear that he would kill her and their children. Her alleged murder took place in June last year.
Her husband, Dene, 40, is charged with her murder, two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault and the contravention of a protection order.
The State alleges that on June 5, last year, Marilyn was walking with Jonathan Gabani near a sports complex in Humansdorp when Stebuys suddenly appeared and attacked Gabani.
According to the State when Marilyn refused to go with her husband he grabbed her and beat her using a rock. Marilyn’s body was discovered deserted in bushes near the sports complex.
The State alleges that before the fatal beating, he also stabbed his own son, Denwin, 16, with a knife, when the teenager attempted to fuse a toxic situation.
Stebuys has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
His children, who are State witnesses have already testified at his trial.
Two previous bail applications brought before the Humansdorp Magistrate's Court have also failed.