Magistrate uses Oscar Pistorius example in granting bail to suspected Maseko killer

Man accused of killing Maseko pleads not guilty
KILLED: Thabo Maseko (24) died of stab wounds on 7 August 2016

A Mpumalanga magistrate presiding over an emotional bail applicationhearing of a 32-year-old man accused of murdering a 26-year-oldBadplaas man, on Sunday morning, has used Oscar Pistoriusexample to grant bail to the accused.

Maseko (pictured) from the Badplaas area was killed on Sundaymorning at the Disco tavern after being stabbed in the neck.

On the same Sunday Badplaas police arrested Solly Nkosi andcharged him with Maseko’s murder. The cops were allegedly assisted bywitnesses who saw Maseko being stabbed.

Magistrate Godfrey Netshiozwi said granting bail didn’t mean justicewill not be served and that “the accused should not be regarded aspunished now before trial”.

“It means he has to wait for his day in court,” Netshiozwi said.

“There is no ground to refuse the accused bail. Every person isassumed innocent until proven guilty,” he said on Wednesay, addingthat in the Oscar Pistorius case “some of our struggle icons were busydemonstrating outside court that the accused be not given bail butbail was given”.

Earlier the Carolina Magistrates Court heard that the Badplaascommunity was feeling retaliatory towards the accused and that it wastoo early to grant the accused bail before Maseko’s burial in thecoming weekend.

“I need to state that I’m the custodian of justice. Everyone must beensured of their safety. The public must understand without emotionalattachment that justice will be served”, he said to a highly emotionalcourt gallery packed with Maseko’s relatives and friends.

“Oscar Pistorius was an international icon. It was a cold-bloodedmurder because she was a defencelss young lady who was shot inside atoilet, but bail was granted and the presiding officer in that casedidn’t allow the opinion of the public to decide on the matter. It isonly the legal principles that allow the accused bail, not me”.

Netshiozwi added: “The court does not regard one principle but manyprinciples which guide bail applications, including the propensity tocommit crime”.

During the bail hearing Nkosi through his lawyer told the court hedoes not have a previous or pending case, a statement which was thenconfirmed by Badplaas police investigators.

“Should the court refuse bail just because the community is outraged?This doesn’t have grounds to refuse the accused bail and I wish toappeal to the community not interfere in the matter,” reminding thecourtroom he was a custodian of justice and that granting bail”doesn’t mean justice will not be served”.

“It means he has to wait for his day in court,” Netshiozwi repeated.

Nkosi was then released on a R1 500 bail and is expected back in courton 28 September.

(edited by ZK)

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