Pretoria - The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday granted bail to two more members alleged to be part of the Boko Haram gang, responsible for terrorising foreign-owned shops and stalling development in Mamelodi. Babili Meshack Mtswene and Clarence Ngobeni are facing a Schedule 6 charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The State called for bail to be denied to both accused as there existed a likelihood that their release out on bail would endanger witnesses given the violent manner used to commit their crimes.
They also took into consideration that a shop owner from Mamelodi, who had refused to comply with the gang’s terms of monthly payments, had been murdered.
The State also questioned why the group had an agreement stipulating an exact amount that foreign shop owners had to contribute irrespective of them making any profits, while no such agreement had been signed with local shop owners.
The court found the addresses of both men had been confirmed, they had no previous convictions, and were businessmen who also contributed to the well-being of the community.
It was also said the men had stated that they were part of the Community First Foundation that collected a fee of R500 a month from local shops which were used to fund the organisations and shop owners community initiatives.
The magistrate set bail at R20 000 each with conditions for them to appear in court for all their appearances and to report to any Tshwane police station between 9am and midday every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The men are to appear in Atteridgeville on April 22 for an identification parade and are expected back in court on May 14.