National 19.8.2016 06:51 pm

Body parts merchant denied bail

Murder-accused Edward Raatji appeared in the Mokelong Magistrates Court, near Mokopane in Limpopo on Wednesday. Picture: ANA

Murder-accused Edward Raatji appeared in the Mokelong Magistrates Court, near Mokopane in Limpopo on Wednesday. Picture: ANA

A Limpopo man accused of killing an unknown woman for her body parts, was denied bail by the Mokerong Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Applying for bail, the former educator who is studying LLB at the University of Venda cited his medical condition and his children and the need to be a parent as compelling circumstances.

He was arrested last month at a taxi rank in Polokwane after he was found in possession of woman’s head and genitals.

According to the State, Raatji, 50, and his co-accused Stanley Mohlake,28, killed an unknown woman and with the intention to sell her head and genitals to undisclosed client.

They were going to facilitate a transaction on the streets when police were tipped off about the planned unusual business transaction.

During the arrest a human head, skull and male genitals were uncovered wrapped inside a newspaper.

A day later, the suspects allegedly led police to the scene were a badly burnt body was found at Mapela village near Mokopane.

During the bail hearing Raatji told court that he wanted to be released so he could take care of his family and continue his medical treatment.

However, he failed to produce evidence corroborating that he suffered from a medical condition, and that if he was not released on bail his health would be jeopardised.

That State argued that it had a strong case against Raatji and his co-accused. The State said that if he was released on bail, his safety would not be guaranteed and it would be in the interest of justice that he stood trial under a secured environment.

His house was burnt and ruined by angry residents of Mapela. Raatji argued that if he was released, he would find refuge at an undisclosed house in Gauteng or at the University of Venda’s residence.

Magistrate Charity Kekana said it would not be in the interest of justice for Raatji to be released on bail due to unfolding threats and failure to prove his medical status.

While Kekana accepted Raatji’s claims of being sick, she said it was upon the applicant to prove and said he had to provide evidence to corroborate the claims.

“There was no proof shown to court that his [Raatji] incarnation will jeopardise his health, evidence must be clear and corroborated,” said Kekana.

There is likelihood that if the applicant if released on bail public peace will be disturbed, she adds.

After the court reject his bid to be released on bail, Raatji slowly walked to the cell. He spole to his family using sign language. However, they remained in court as Raatji was expected to appear again for a domestic violence case.

It is alleged that he violated protection order made by his wife.

Grieving residence welcome the verdict jump and celebrate outside the court.

The case was postponed to October 21.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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