In October 2012 Angy Peter, Isaac Mbadu, Christopher Dina and Azola Dayimani were arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping; their trial has been heard at the Western Cape High Court since February this year. Earlier today Judge Robert Henney handed down judgment finding all four guilty of pre-meditated murder and kidnapping. Sentencing is to be delivered on 24 November 2014. Should the court not find that there are mitigating circumstances, with a conviction of this nature the prescribed sentence is life imprisonment. Bail was also revoked and all four are in custody.
From the time that charges were first laid against Peter and Mbadu, who have been long standing activists in Khayelitsha, both have maintained their innocence and that the charges brought against them were fabricated by the South African Police Service as a response to their work exposing police corruption and inefficiencies. Angy in particular played a key role in the work leading up to the establishment of the recently concluded Commission of Inquiry into Policing in Khayelitsha that found serious systemic problems with policing in the area.
Following their arrest in 2012 Angy and Isaac, who are a married couple with young children, were subjected to constant police harassment including late night, unlawful searches on their home and of their young children. Angy was also arrested on three other occasions for cases of kidnapping all of which fell away when complainants could not be traced or it was shown that Angy had an iron-clad alibi.
The SJC is shocked and deeply saddened by the decision handed down today. Given that the record is in excess of 4,000 pages and the judgment itself took two days to read no resolutions have yet been taken. Angy and Isaac’s lawyers are studying the record and determining the best course of action to ensure that justice prevails in this matter. It is probable that the decision will be taken to appeal and the SJC will abide by any decision that comes from this.
In relation to Angy, it is particularly perturbing that bail was revoked and she was not given an opportunity to even say goodbye to her children. The State itself did not oppose bail and only after the Judge intervened did they reverse their decision.
We reiterate our condolences and sympathies with the family of Rowan du Preez. Irrespective of the outcome of this case no family should have to suffer the tragedy of one of its members being violently murdered.
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