Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

Man accused of murdering Durban woman and attacking her family declared fit for trial

Grayson Beare's case has been postponed to 11 July 2024 for abail hearing.

Murder-accused Grayson James Beare has been declared fit to stand trial following a mental health assessment conducted after his arrest.

Beare returned to the dock in the Durban Magistrate’s Court in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Tuesday for his second appearance.

The case was adjourned last week to allow for mental evaluation to be conducted at the request of state prosecutor Calvin Govender.

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The suspect is facing charges of murder and attempted murder after attacking a family in Durban earlier this month.

During the proceedings, a district surgeon’s report was presented in court, revealing that Beare is fit to stand trial.

The 44-year-old’s case has now been postponed to 11 July for a formal bail application.

The state is expected to oppose his release on bail due to the severity of the charges.

The accused will remain in custody at Westville Prison until his next court appearance.

Durban family attacked

Beare was arrested after allegedly stabbing 46-year-old Halima Hoosen-Preston to death at her home in Glenmore, Durban, on 2 June.

It is alleged that Beare broke into the home around 3am and stabbed Hoosen-Preston at least 15 times.

He also attacked her husband, Shaun Preston, and their son, inflicting serious injuries that required hospitalisation.

A young girl, the fourth member of the family, was not physically harmed.

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According to the KZN South African Police Service (Saps), the girl informed authorities that Beare repeatedly stated he assaulted them because of their support for Palestine .

In a viral video widely shared on social media, Beare claimed that his attack was motivated by the family’s pro-Palestinian stance.

The accused alleged that Hoosen-Preston and her family thought “it was funny and entertaining” that his cousins were killed in Israel.

Beare claimed “she is not totally innocent”.

Watch the video below:

Hoosen-Preston’s family responds

However, Hoosen-Preston’s husband has stated that the attack was not religiously motivated, according to the Berea Mail.

“I would therefore like to clarify that in as much as the accused has tried to justify his actions, citing comments that Halima supposedly made to provoke this heinous crime, from our perspective as a family, this is not a political or religious matter.

“This is purely a criminal matter, and we want it to be treated as such,” Sean Preston reportedly said in a statement.

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“The accused was, at most, an acquaintance of ours and someone we had last seen in around 2019, so the comments he has made in a video which went viral are baseless, as are the comments attributed to him that Halima ‘was happy that Muslims were killing Jews’.

“Halima was well aware of the fact that what’s going on in Palestine has nothing to do with Muslim-Jewish relations, and she enjoyed friendships with individuals from diverse faith backgrounds.

“She was a peace-loving individual who respected all religions. In fact, when Halima expressed her views regarding Palestine to her loved ones, she was careful to emphasise that this wasn’t an attack on a singular religion but rather an attack on humanity,” the husband explained.

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