Cape Town - Three Mitchells Plain alleged gangsters were apparently high on drugs as they appeared in court for the murder of Ebrahiem Phillips, 64, fondly known as Boeta Hiema.
Wallied Schroeder, 29, Levaile Wagner, 30, and Gustav Moses, 33, appeared for their formal bail hearing at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court after months of delays.
The three allegedly stabbed Boeta Hiema at the Total Garage in Beacon Valley on 6 November 2017 shortly after he withdrew his pension at the ATM.
The bail hearing was brought to a halt when Schroeder was unable to state his own name or take the oath, while Moses laughed loudly in court.
“Hy is gerook op buttons! (He smoked mandrax.)” a laughing Moses said as Magistrate Alwira Bezuidenhout stopped proceedings.
Boeta Hiema’s sister Nadia Levy, 60, burst into tears while the investigating officer called for the public gallery to be cleared.
“Dit is nie ’n grap nie. Die victim se familie huil hier! Gaan net af!” (This is not a joke. The victim's family is crying.) the officer ordered.
After 10 minutes, the court resumed and Bezuidenhout indicated that the identity parade had been completed but only two of the three men had been positively identified.
She postponed the case until May 30 for the details of the identity parade and said the remaining two men will appear for another bail hearing on 19 June.
“Hopefully when we do that hearing, you will take it seriously and not sit here and laugh,” she warned.
Nadia, who was surrounded by concerned family and friends, said after sitting at court for six hours, she believed the three accused made a “mockery” of the justice system.
“We are sitting here whole morning looking forward to it and when this guy came up now and started, it became a mockery. It was so hurtful to see how they were reacting. They have no remorse and this is the second time they laugh in court.”
She says the family is still struggling to deal with her brother’s death.
“This is the first Ramadaan without Hiema and this morning when the Fast started, we sat around the table and his chair was empty.
“It was the first time that it really hit home for us. He loved Ramadaan and was a religious man. He went to mosque every day and never missed prayers.”