Cape Town - Three men who initially faced attempted murder charges will now be charged with murder following the death of Strandfontein resident Chad Baron, who was left in a coma after being stabbed 15 times and beaten with a brick during a car hijacking.
Baron succumbed to his injuries in hospital at the weekend after he was found unconscious in a dilapidated building in Camp Road, Strandfontein, on June 9.
The 26-year-old was to leave for Vietnam last month, where he was set to teach English.
Baron had disappeared on June 8 after leaving a farewell party in Diep River.
The accused – brothers Ricardo Jackson, 29, and Romario Jennifer, 21, as well as Warren Challenge, 22 – are all from Strandfontein and were arrested on June 11.
The trio were charged with attempted murder, burglary, car theft and kidnapping. They appeared at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the case was postponed to July 23 for a bail application.
“They are going to be charged with murder (on July 23). The State will oppose bail, as it has done from the beginning of this case,” he said.
On Sunday, the Baron residence was teeming with friends and relatives who had come to offer the family support.
Baron’s older sister Tania said they were in “deep mourning”.
“Chad was all about spreading love. That’s how we want to remember him. We just don’t want this case to be swept under the carpet and our hope is that justice is done.”
Strandfontein Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson Sandy Schuter said the community would protest outside court when the three accused appeared again.
“There is definitely no room for them in our community. The CPF supports the community and we are hoping they won’t get bail.
“We have had an increase in crime in the area and our neighbourhood watches and crime forums have become stronger with more patrols,” Schuter said.
Social and Economic Development Forum secretary Mandy van Willingh said two of the accused, Jackson and Jennifer, were brothers who had been left to their own devices at their Berlin Square residence after their parents had passed on.
“The house became a drug den. It’s a regular occurrence around Strandfontein, where we find young adults being left in their parents’ homes and they become irresponsible and start doing drugs and turn to crime,” she said.
In a separate incident, police spokesperson André Traut said a 26-year-old man was shot and killed at Blue Waters Beach Resort in Strandfontein on Monday.
“A stolen vehicle found on the scene was stuck in the sand. Murder is being investigated. No one has been arrested as yet,” he said.