South Africa 7.11.2014 11:42 am

Community angry at being barred from court

FILE PICTURE: A march to the scene of where Taegrin Morris' body was found across the road from the Boksburg Home Affairs office in Boksburg, 25 July 2014. Picture: Neil McCartney

FILE PICTURE: A march to the scene of where Taegrin Morris' body was found across the road from the Boksburg Home Affairs office in Boksburg, 25 July 2014. Picture: Neil McCartney

Residents of Boksburg in Ekurhuleni who turned out to support the family of Taegrin Morris expressed anger at the security arrangements in place at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

“When we are locked out of the system, it is not right,” said Hein April, who was speaking on behalf of the community after a brief court appearance by Thamsanqa Twala.

Twala faces charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and the possession of an unlicensed firearm in relation to the child’s death.

Morris died when his parents’ Volkswagen Golf was hijacked in Reiger Park, on the East Rand, in July. Three men approached the car in which Morris, his sister and parents were travelling, and ordered the family out.

The boy was caught in his seatbelt and dragged along the road as the hijackers drove off. The car was abandoned in Boksburg.

On Friday, police controlled admission to the court, which was surrounded by razor wire, and allowed only 15 people into the courtroom.

At Twala’s last court appearance, community members shouted “no bail” and “genoeg is genoeg (enough is enough)”.

There were no outbursts in the courtroom on Friday.

April told reporters outside the court that residents had come to support the Morris family and see justice done.

“We want to be part of the justice [process]. We gave information to the police before his arrest.”

He claimed police and security manhandled residents who came to the court.

“Next week we are going to come again to show unified support against violence, especially against women and children, in our community.”

Residents wearing T-shirts printed with Morris’s face cheered and shouted “No bail, no bail”.

April said no matter how many police were at the court next Friday, when Twala is expected to bring a formal bail application, community members would outnumber them.

Earlier, a lawyer appearing for Twala told the court he had received a phone call from the lawyer who represented Twala at his last court appearance.

“… He said he was indisposed and their office was not placed properly into funds. They won’t be in a position to continue with the bail application and furthermore wished to withdraw.”

Twala, wearing a creased yellow shirt with brown elbow patches, told the court through an interpreter, he had made other arrangements for his defence lawyer.

He said he had not had much time to speak to the new attorney on the phone, but was told the lawyer would be ready to proceed with the bail application next Friday.

Prosecutor Matsheliso Moleko said she would be available on that day and the matter was postponed.

Twala remains in custody.

After court, Morris’s father Elwin was pursued by reporters through the car park.

Asked about his feelings on seeing one of his son’s alleged killers, he said quietly: “A lot of anger.”

Sapa

 

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