The family of slain 10-year-old Durban boy Miguel Louw says they are struggling emotionally after the trial was on Thursday postponed to next year.
“It is very frustrating and emotionally draining. This is just prolonging and prolonging. It is sad that we are not going to have another Christmas [with this matter settled]. If justice is served, there will be some kind of peace,” Tashnim dos Santos, Louw’s aunt, said.
Outside court, she told journalists they were still coming to terms with the boy’s kidnapping and murder in July 2018.
“We still have to try and live each day with the pain. We hope this monster gets sentenced and goes behind bars and justice is served, even though it won’t bring him [Miguel] back.”
After proceedings in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban, the sole suspect, 45-year-old Mohamed Ebrahim, said his health was “not good”.
“I don’t think I’ll ever work.”
In the day’s proceedings, defence attorney Jay Naidoo argued before Judge Jacqueline Hendriques after filing a Section 147 petition of the Criminal Procedure Act.
If granted, charges against Ebrahim will be dropped on the basis that there was not, among other factors, enough material evidence at the trial.
The outcome of the application is to be heard on January 27 next year.
Naidoo argued that there was “not an iota of direct evidence” linking Ebrahim to the death of Louw.
“There is no direct evidence the accused’s conduct satisfies the basic elements of the crime of kidnapping.”
He said, if the State failed to make a case for kidnapping, “there can be no case of the murder”.
“This is because the victim had to be in the custody of the accused to be killed. Even though, my Lady will find at some point that the deceased was in custody of accused, the State still has to prove he killed the deceased. We do not have that evidence.”
For the State, senior prosecutor Kelvin Singh said there was enough circumstantial evidence to find Ebrahim guilty.
He maintained that Louw was last seen with Ebrahim at a local KFC in Sydenham.
“And even after the boy went missing, Ebrahim did not inform anyone he had taken him to get something to eat. Why not?”
Singh added that the location of Louw’s body, which was found near Ebrahim’s home, gave him a chance to commit the crime.
“He had an opportunity to perpetrate this crime. The location of where the body was found gives opportunity to commit the crime.”