CHAOS erupted in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court yesterday minutes before magistrate Abdul Khan could deliver his verdict in a court packed to capacity with Tarlton community members and political parties in support of farm worker Aaron Mutavhatsindi, 43, who was allegedly killed by security company owner Petrus Durant, 47.
“You dare give him bail we will kill him,” members of the public shouted earlier in court. Police had to forcefully remove the disrupters before the magistrate granted Durant R10000 bail on condition that he hands in his passport and pistol.
Khan said the killing was not premeditated as suggested by prosecutor Rungulani Mhlongo, who argued that the fact that the accused is a former police officer and owns a security company meant that he had known that his target was inside the tractor.
He said the accused had failed to ask for help from the police and took matters to his hands. While the case has whipped up racial outrage, Khan did not see it as a racist killing.
“We need to identify crimes of racism, not every crime is of a racist manner. A racist crime is one that is solely based on the colour of your skin, language you speak,” Khan said.
The deceased’s nephew, Ebrahim Ramashiya, said the family was unhappy that bail was granted. “We have lost hope in the courts. We will be seeking further assistance outside and maybe ask for the case to be moved to another court as this one has already failed us,” Ramashiya said.
The NPA’s Phindi Louw said the state believed the accused’s life might be in danger.
“It will be irresponsible of us to fuel the existing racial tensions by making improper statements. We are an organisation that is bound by the legal framwork of this country therefore we believe that the motive in this case will be uncovered during the trial stage. The duties of the prosecutor is to prove that an unlawful act was committed which will help with uncovering the motive in this crime,” Louw said.
ANC ward councillor in Tarlton Dikgang Sithole said they were not happy but they expect the state to fight for the deceased.