News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
17 Oct 2018
2:30 pm

Bail application of three Westbury-murder accused postponed

Makhosandile Zulu

The bail application was postponed to next week Tuesday October 23 due to an outstanding investigation and the finalisation of the application.

The bail application of the three accused of murdering Heather Peterson whose death led to violent and destructive community protests in Westbury recently was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today to next week Tuesday October 23.

Accused number one is aged 21, while accused number two is aged 18 and accused number three is aged 32.

The state requested for the postponement because the third accused was added to the bail application on Tuesday, October 16.

The 32-year-old suspect was arrested on Sunday at a house in Krugersdorp following a joint intelligence-driven operation by the police.

During the bail application on Wednesday, the state requested that the court gallery be cleared due to an “outstanding investigation” and the sensitivity of the case.

The magistrate granted the state’s request to clear the gallery, allowing one member of Peterson’s family to remain in court. The magistrate further ordered legal representatives not linked to the case to wait outside of court.

Due to an outstanding investigation, the identities of the accused cannot be published at this stage.

The investigating officer will conduct an identity parade on Saturday, October 20.

The magistrate ruled that the media will be allowed to report on the bail application on condition that the names of the three accused are not divulged and their photographs are not published because the investigation is at a critical stage.

Violent and destructive protests sparked by the killing of Peterson broke out in Westbury recently, which led to Police Minister Bheki Cele’s intervention.

The Westbury community had raised concerns about the high prevalence of drugs, gang-related violence, and corrupt police officers who are allegedly bribed to turn a blind eye to criminal activity.

Cele’s intervention led to the deployment of a tactical response team (TRT) dedicated to the Westbury policing precinct.

Peterson was laid to rest earlier this month.

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