Slain Forest High pupil’s family denies knowledge of armed robbery charge

Slain Forest High pupil’s family denies knowledge of armed robbery charge

Forest High School where one of school pupils was stabbed to death, 4 May 2019. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso / African News Agency (ANA)

‘If the prosecutor knew he was facing a charge of robbery, they were supposed to inform us,’ a family spokesperson said.

The family of slain 16-year-old Forest High School pupil Daniel Bakwela denied having any information regarding the National Prosecution Authority’s (NPA) revelation last month that he had been facing an armed robbery charge before his untimely death.

This comes after the 19-year-old accused of murdering Bakwela, Mohammed Mwela, appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday after being granted R5,000 bail in June.

The NPA had explained that part of the reason it had granted Mwela bail was because Bakwela, along with the other pupils wounded in the incident, had his own run-in with the law and was facing an armed robbery charge before of his death.

This while Mwela argued that he had been defending himself from a gang during the scuffle that left Bakwela dead.

The family representative to the Bakelwa family, Nzamba Juho, said the family was not clear on the details surrounding the robbery charges that implicated their son. He said he spoke to the prosecuting officer but was unable to get details on the matter.

“We are not talking about robbery here, we are talking about murder. If the prosecutor knew he was facing a charge of robbery, they were supposed to inform us,” said Juho.

Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff postponed the case to August 30 to allow time for the state to finalise investigations, which included post-mortem and DNA results.

Mwela faces two charges of attempted murder for wounding two pupils and the murder charge.

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