Sons of murdered Protea bass angler seek support to keep alleged killers behind bars

The late John Wickham's family is trying to keep the illegal immigrants suspected of his murder behind bars with a petition nearing 3 000 signatures.

The sons of late Protea bass angler Mr John Wickham, have launched a petition demanding that bail be denied for Mr Wickham’s three alleged murderers who will appear in the Dullstroom Magistrates’ Court for a formal bail application on February 19.

Mr Wickham was brutally shot and killed while protecting his wife Magda from two armed robbers who broke into their luxury Dullstroom guest house cottage on November 26 last year.

The petition was started on January 23 with the bail application originally set for the 26th.

The matter was, however, remanded to February 19, affording the family an opportunity to reach their goal of obtaining 5 000 signatures in support of keeping the alleged murderers behind bars.

The petition currently has just short of 3 000 signatories with a total of 2 790 having signed on.

According to police, all three suspects arrested in connection to Mr Wickham’s murder are in the country illegally, which should be a slam dunk for the state with successfully opposing their release.

According to Mpumalanga SAPS spokesman Colonel Donald Mdluli, a provincial task team followed information which led to the arrest of James Cumiao (38) at Marikana on November 30.

James Cumiao (38).

He was charged with the contravention of the Immigration Act, however, after further investigation, Cumiao was subsequently charged with murder and robbery on January 12.
Information then surfaced on the whereabouts of another possible suspect in possession of an unlicensed firearm in Cullinan.

On January 23, the investigation led investigators to the front door of Gil Ernesto Manave (38), who was charged with murder alongside Cumiao.
An unlicensed firearm was found during the search of the property, which has been sent for ballistic analysis.

Gil Ernesto Manave (38).

A 28-year-old female was also apprehended and charged with contravening immigration laws during Manave’s arrest.
Her possible involvement with the planning and execution of the murder is currently still under investigation.

Mr Wickham’s son Tristan followed in his dad’s footsteps to obtain his national colours in bass angling alongside his brother Nathan.

Both Tristan and Nathan were also selected for the Protea Under 25 team for 2024, with Tristan being crowned Protea National Champion for 2024 at a bittersweet awards ceremony following the SABAA U25 Nationals at Witbank Dam on January 21.

The John Wickham Memorial Trophy was unveiled at the awards.

Tristan writes, “My father’s absence has left an irreplaceable hole within the lives of many, from his colleagues at work to a worldwide bass angling community. He was a voice of reason and a true friend to many, always trying to uplift and improve the lives of those around him.”

He added, “Let us ensure that the memory of my father is honoured by a system that upholds the values of justice and protects the innocent. By doing so, you contribute to the safeguarding of our community and send a powerful message that heinous crimes will not go unanswered.”

The petition will be handed to the NPA before the bail hearing on the 19th.

To add your name to the petition, click on the following link:

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