Two men charged with allegedly murdering a man following a so called revenge mission will know in two weeks whether or not they will be granted bail.
Deilon Makoppa and Kurt Bosman are applying for bail in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court following a so-called revenge mission in which at least two people were killed and another was kidnapped during December last year.
A third accused Damian Kammies has abandoned his bid for bail and still has two pending cases of murder against his name.
The men who are reportedly affiliated with a notorious gang the ‘Spotbouers’, are facing charges of murder, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, kidnapping and possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
During closing arguments on Thursday, State Prosecutor, Rafik Ahmed, said that although Makoppa denied being part of a gang WhatsApp group his proposition was improbable as the phone’s password he provided was ‘freshdeilon’.
“His name was mentioned in the group chat, he was in control of that phone and the fact of the matter is that he was associated with the ‘Spotbouers’ gang. They operate in a group and things are weaved together by different people who play different roles,” said Ahmed.
The group chat appeared to also indicate where gang members would store firearms, in addition to this one picture depicted two revolvers and a pistol and in a separate image a man in a pink jacket was seen carrying what appeared to look like an Uzi.
“These people are dangerous, this is a coordinated effort. The fact that they operate in a group makes it more dangerous for community members. It is difficult to prosecute these cases as witnesses are threatened and if they are released on bail there is a possibility they may interfere with witnesses,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed argued that both the men acted with common purpose
However, Defence attorney Ryno Scholtz argued that the State did not have a prima facie case against the accused because the police conducted a one dimensional investigation.
Scholtz said that video footage police failed to follow up on could have possibly exonerated Makoppa from the alleged crime.
“They didn’t negate what the applicant said about the video footage, the police could have applied for a search warrant but they did not. It’s a one dimensional investigation,” said Scholtz.
As for the WhatsApp group chat Scholtz argued that at the time of Makoppa’s arrest he was not a participant in the group chat.
“We don’t know who sent the pictures of guns and we can’t say if the pictures show real guns,” said Scholtz.
According to the State the men were on a revenge mission to seek out Neville Bruintjies known as ‘China’. Bruintjies apparently embarrassed fellow Spotbouers gang members after disarming them of a gun.
During November last year, Bruintjies was allegedly sought out by the men and in the process a trail of destruction was left behind. A man was killed and his body discovered in the Malabar vlak area and Bruintjies’s mother’s house was reportedly burnt down.
The three accused allegedly then made their way to Schauderville looking for Bruintjies. In their quest for information of his whereabouts they allegedly assaulted and kidnapped Franklin Matthys.
The State alleges that in the interim Matthy’s cousin, Deon, was shot and killed in cold blood by the accused.
Judgement is expected to be delivered on January 23.