#CITHeist: ANC staffer now faces attempted murder charge
Johannesburg - The former ANC Luthuli House staffer who is accused of "heinous" cash-in-transit heist crimes totalling R250 000 now faces attempted murder as well as possession of suspected stolen vehicles charges.
But it has emerged that Errol Velile Present, the former ANC Luthuli House staffer who was arrested on suspected heist charges, was not positively pointed out at a parade conducted by the police.
This was revealed on Tuesday at the bail application hearing of Present, who was arrested with three other accused of allegedly being involved in a violent robbery of a mall in Dobsonville, Soweto, on July 4.
The attempted murder charge was added because a G4S officer was shot and critically wounded during the alleged robbery.
A crack multidisciplinary law enforcement unit nabbed him within 72 hours of the alleged crime; Brigadier Vishnu Naidu told The Star earlier this month.
Present was fired by the ANC shortly after he gained notoriety following a statement by Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba's, in which he lambasted the governing party for employing someone who supposedly did not respect the rule of law.
The ANC said it ditched present for being embroiled in allegations "of heinous crimes".
On Monday, Present appeared looking relaxed and unperturbed by the media contingent which was packed in the confined room.
His co-accused are Zakhele Zondo (number 1), Itumeleng Manama (number 2) and Bheki Biyela (number 3).
The State, through prosecutor Paseka Tameli, said it would oppose bail as well as disclosing the contents of the docket in order to protect its witnesses.
However, the defence team charged back and asked for the disclosure of the docket for the accused lawyers to properly prepare for the bail application.
The defence lawyers also asked for the amended charge sheet, which contains the two additional charges.
"The accused needs to prepare his defence properly and thoroughly. I submit, if that is not the case, that the accused's right to a fair trial is infringed (upon) in terms of the Bill of Rights," asserted Advocate Nthabiseng Mahomane, the lawyer for Manama; accused number 2.
Ben Modumaela, who is representing Present, said he would object to another identity parade of his client due to the former ANC staffer's face being plastered across media publications, as well as social media sites.
Present's lawyer said it was a common course that investigators would only call parades if they had witnesses who said they could positively identify perpetrators of crimes.
Four witnesses were called to the parade and all of whom did not point out Present, Modumaela added.
Modumaela said Present was arrested while walking in the streets, so the lawyer said he was bewildered as to how he could be charged with the possession of suspected stolen vehicles.
It was a packed courtroom laden with security personnel, which underscored the magnitude of the crime, as well as the high profile nature of Present.
The case has been postponed until Friday August 3 for a decision on whether Magistrate John Baloyi will grant the defence team the docket ahead of the commencement of the bail application.