Craig de Lilly winked at somebody in the almost empty public gallery of the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court as he walked up from the holding cells on Monday to face a charge of murdering traffic officer Walton van Rooyen.
His case was a stop-start affair, as an official had to go to the nearby Cape Town Central police station to find out whether De Lilly could be kept in the holding cells there until next week, given the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions on movement.
The court’s public gallery was stripped of the usual numbers of people, and a woman came into the court to remove all but one family member and witnesses, in line with restrictions imposed by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
A small group of officials, one wearing a City of Cape Town T-shirt, were present to observe, but sat spaced out from each other in the court, wearing masks.
Permission was granted for De Lilly to stay in the holding cells for remand, and he returned down the steps in his shiny blue bomber jacket, until his return to court on April 6.
The court heard that he had already handed over a vehicle tracker to the investigating officer on 17 March, the day of the fatal shooting.
Initially, four people were taken in for questioning in connection with Van Rooyen’s shooting. He was gunned down after doing a routine traffic stop.
De Lilly faces a charge of murder.
Police spokesperson Captain Andrè Traut said, at the time, that it was suspected that the officer was killed afterwards en route to the police station.
The arrest took place on the corner of 5th Avenue and Voortrekker Road.
No further details were provided during De Lilly’s appearance on Monday.