South Africa: Forest High Stabbing – ‘I Was Defending Myself Against a Gang,’ Says Accused in Affadavit

The magistrate presiding over the bail application of the 19-year-old Forest High School pupil accused of murder and attempted murder, says he will have to carefully consider the matter before making a ruling.

This came after Magistrate BC Molwana had to go through a fact-finding process in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court after the State and defence’s affidavits contained errors and lacked clarity.

Mohamed Mwela is facing a murder and two attempted murder charges after he allegedly stabbed Daniel Bakwela, 16, to death and injured two others outside the Turffontein school in Johannesburg on Monday.

Among the inconsistencies was the date in Mwela’s affidavit in which he stated that the incident had happened on May 3 instead of June 3. This saw him being called to the witness stand to confirm under oath that the incident had happened on June 3.

Mwela’s attorney, Mudi Mavhengani, while submitting his affidavit, said the accused was a first-time offender and was therefore not a flight risk.

He also submitted Mwela was acting in self-defence as he was being attacked by the deceased’s gang, which, according to the teenager, is known as the “Stouter Kinders”.

The court also heard the suspect was writing examinations and that he “had the right to education”.

Mavhengani submitted that because the accused was dependent on his parents, he could only afford R500 for bail.

If the court decided on a higher amount, the accused’s family would find a way to pay it.

Molwana, however, said it was important the court be informed about where the accused would be writing his examinations, and whether he would continue attending the same school should he be granted bail.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona took the stand to provide the court with clarity on the issue.

Mabona was questioned about plans the department and the school have in place with regards to where Mwela would write his examination and whether he would be transferred to another school.

He explained the disciplinary processes for the department allowed for the accused to continue with his examinations.

He could not divulge to the court, for safety reasons, where the teenager would be writing his examinations, even though Molwana insisted that such information was important in the bail deliberations.

The magistrate also questioned why the defence had not submitted a timetable as proof the accused would be writing exams.

If bail was granted, the accused should submit his passport if he was in possession of one, the State submitted.

Molwana said because of all the new information that he had to personally seek, by calling witnesses to the stand, he had no other choice but to take time to consider his ruling.

“I have covered many elements that you were both [the State and defence] were silent on in that affidavit.

“I am not going to pronounce judgment because I’m under pressure, but because I want to pronounce one that is fair and without favour and fear,” Molwana said.

The case has been postponed to June 10.

Source: News24


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Publish date : 2019-06-06 16:15:37

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