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Port Elizabeth - The trial of a 22-year-old man charged with the murder of 2-year-old Hakeem Baartman is expected to go ahead in the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Marshall Thomas has been charged with the toddler’s November 2017 killing. The case was previously postponed for a possible plea and sentence deal. 

However, the State on Thursday requested the case be postponed until March for trial.

According to the State, Baartman was walking with his uncle in Helenvale “Die Gat” when the shooting incident unfolded. Baartman was hit in the head by a stray bullet and died at the scene.

It was alleged that on November 18, 2017, the two-year-old boy was fatally injured while a 17-year-old teenager, Dimitri Guest, sustained a gunshot wound in the neck.

It was further alleged that Guest was sitting on the steps of a house in Hartbees Street in Helenvale when Thomas approached from an open field and started shooting at him. The State alleges that Guest was a target and when he ran into the street Thomas continued firing at him.

During the shooting, the toddler was struck by a bullet in the head. 

Thomas is also charged with the attempted murder of the toddler’s uncle, Ashley Baartman who was with the child at the time of the shooting. 

Thomas faces other charges which include the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and willingly aiding and abetting criminal activity. 

The case was postponed until March 18 for trial. 

African News Agency (ANA)