The three men charged in connection with the murder of Meghan Cremer were denied bail in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
The man accused of her murder, Jeremy Sias, 27, was out on bail in a case of theft of a motor vehicle when Cremer was murdered.
Sias, Charles Daniels, 39, and Shiraaj Jaftha, 34, initially did not apply for bail, but earlier this month, about three months after they were arrested, they applied for bail. The State opposed the application.
The three were initially charged for being in possession of Cremer’s vehicle.
Charges of murder and armed robbery have since been added to Sias’ charge sheet after Cremer’s remains were found on a sand mine at a Philippi farm on the morning of August 8.
Prosecutor Emily de Klerk read an affidavit by investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Gavin Sias into the court’s record on Friday.
According to this, Daniels and Jaftha were arrested for being in possession of Cremer’s vehicle on August 5. Later that same night, Sias was arrested after Daniels implicated him. Sias was seen driving the vehicle after Cremer was last seen and he withdrew money from Cremer’s account.
Bloody clothes, two cellphones and Cremer’s handbag were found at his home.
“The police were led to the body of the deceased by the first applicant [Sias],” read the affidavit. “The ligature marks were still visible.”
The affidavit also contained details about the three’s criminal records.
Sias, also known as Bompie, has previously pled guilty and paid a fine on a charge of assault. He kicked and slapped a female he was romantically involved with.
Jaftha pled guilty and paid a fine of R100 on a similar charge. All three accused also have several cases withdrawn, mostly because witnesses failed to appear in court.
Jaftha is a “self-proclaimed member of the Six Bobs gang”.
The three accused’s legal counsel argued it was in the interest of justice that they be released on bail and nothing from their previous conduct would suggest they would avoid standing trial.
De Klerk said it was not for the court to take their previous arrests into account, because there were no outcomes from those cases.
She said there was a strong case against Sias and the pending cases against him suggested he would commit further crimes if he were to be released on bail.
She also noted the violence used in the murder.
“He strangled her to death, basically.”
De Klerk said the fact that he was out on bail while the murder was committed, showed how little binding effect bail conditions would have on him. She added it was likely he would interfere with witnesses as they were known to him.
She said President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted this case as a priority case.
Concerning Daniels and Jaftha, she added their record showed a propensity to commit crimes and the likelihood that they too would interfere with witnesses.
Magistrate Cullis found there was a large degree of violence used and the State had a strong case, with the accused facing long sentences. He also pointed out the witnesses were known to the accused.
He ruled that it would not be in the interests of justice to release them on bail.
The case was postponed to January 27, 2020, for further investigation.