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Rustenburg - A 31-year-old man accused of the brutal murder of his girlfriend was granted bail with stringent conditions at the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court in Tlhabane, Rustenburg on Monday.

Thabo Moabi was granted R6000 bail after Magistrate Andrew Mmokwa said there were no compelling reasons to deny him bail.

The court ordered that he must not make any conduct with his five-year-old daughter, who police believe may have witnessed the murder of her mother.

The court further ordered Moabi not to interfere with the police investigation, to contribute financially towards the care of his daughter who currently lives with her maternal grandparents in Phokeng. He also has to report to the Phokeng police station on Mondays and Fridays.

"The courts cannot be held at ransom by threats from the community that they will take the law into their hands should the applicant be released on bail. The investigating officer could have collected all the evidence he needed while the applicant was in custody. The issues raised by the State could be capped,"  the magistrate said.

This was after the state in opposing bail said community members were scared of Moabi to such an extent that two witnesses told the police they would only make statements if he was denied bail.

The court issued a warning to community members to respect its decision on granting bail and not to take the law into their hands.

Moabi is accused of killing his live-in lover Segametsi Molefe in Tlaseng outside Rustenburg on March 27.

Testifying in his bail application, Moabi told the court he had slapped Segametsi after she received a phone call and a male person enquired whether she had arrived home safely and declared his undying love to her.

"I was heartbroken to hear another man declaring his love for my girlfriend, I slapped her and she pulled out a knife. I then pushed her against a wall and she fell to the ground,"  Moabi said.

He told the court that he arrived home at around 22:00 and found his daughter alone, sleeping on a sofa. 

He denied that the child witnessed the scuffle between him and Segametsi that led to her death.

Mmokwa told Moabi that there was a possibility that the girl could have seen witnessed the incident.

He added that Moabi had a case to answer to and there was overwhelming evidence against him, that was the reason his bail was set to the amount equivalent to his monthly salary.

Moabi indicated in his bail application that he was earning R6,000 a month from a local mine where he is employed as an engineering assistant.

The case was postponed to May 21 for further investigation.

African News Agency (ANA)