BRITS – A member of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) accused of the attempted murder of an Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) member in an apparent turf war appeared in the Brits Magistrate’s Court to apply for bail.
Nkosinathi Mantashe, 37, will know on Wednesday whether his bail bid was successful. The State alleges that he shot Amcu member Malibongwe Mdazo five times at Mooinooi on 22 July.
Prosecutor Cassius Mona argued that it was in the interest of justice to keep Mantashe in custody as his release could fuel the killings in the platinum belt around Rustenburg.
The recent spate of killings in which Amcu members were shot dead was reported to be a turf war between the two unions, while others believe the killings were triggered by Amcu’s internal conflict.
Mona further told the court that police blunders did not have a bearing on the State’s case against Mantashe.
He pointed out that police made a blunder by taking a statement from Mantashe in September and allowed him to go instead of arresting him, this was on the basis that Mdazo in his statement to the police on 16 August, stated that Mantashe shot and wounded him.
Mantashe denied the charge against him and told the court he could not be kept in custody “just because Amcu members filled up the court”.
Amcu members filled the gallery and others protested outside calling on the court not to grant Mantashe bail.
Advocate Katlego Magano, for Mantashe, argued that it was unlikely for Mdazo to confront Mantashe after a warning bullet was fired instead of running for cover.
The State alleges Mdazo grabbed Mantashe by his clothes after he fired the first bullet that shattered Mdazo’s car rear window. He was allegedly hit by five bullets while wrestling for the gun with Mantashe.
“There is no such thing, we only see that in the movies. Here we deal with real issues,” Magano told the court.
He told the court, that it would be in the interest of justice to release Mantashe on bail, as he was not a flight risk, his life was not in danger and he would not interfere with investigation or witnesses.
Magistrate Reagan Rosenberg is expected to announce the decision on the bail application on Wednesday.
African News Agency