Joel Mkhitha and his lawyer, Chipu Thuyi, at the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Tuesday, where Mkhitha was released on bail of R10,000.
- The court granted bail of R10,000 to one of the former G4S officials involved in the Thabo Bester escape case.
- The second official dropped his request for bail on Tuesday.
- The 12 defendants in the case are expected to appear on August 8.
At least 18 witnesses have been called to testify in the state court case over Thabo Bester’s escape, Bloemfontein Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.
Another accused was released on bail.
The former G4S prison officials were Joel Mkhitha and Mueketsi Ramulola He was arrested two weeks ago for their alleged involvement in Bester’s escape from Manjung Prison in May 2022. They face charges of violating a corpse, aiding an inmate to escape, and corruption. Both were custodial officers who were suspended by G4S earlier this year.
During his bail hearing on Tuesday, Ramolola’s lawyer, Adrian Janse van Rensburg, told the court that his client had decided to drop the bail request.
Makhitha’s lawyer, Tchibo Thuy, told the court that his client lives with his partner in Pochabelo in Manjung, and that he had four children, ranging in age from 9 to 24, for whom he was financially responsible.
He said Mkhitha was suspended, paid, earned R17,244 per month, and had no previous convictions or pending cases.
In his affidavit, Mkhitha said: “I have strong emotional ties here in Pochabelo and it is highly unlikely that I will evade my prosecution. I was arrested at home and I fully cooperated with the police upon my arrest… I do not know the identity of the state’s witnesses. If their identities are revealed To me, I pledge not to tamper with the state’s witnesses.”
Thusi said Mkhitha had handed over his passport to the police and intended to contest the charges against him.
The public prosecutor, attorney Selo Matlhuko, did not oppose Mkhitha’s bail request. Thosi also provided a list of 18 witnesses who, he said, had already given their statements.
“[Thusi] He emphasized that the witnesses who had previously given their statements did not know the accused. Therefore, there is no possibility of him interfering with the witnesses… There are about 18 witnesses who are forbidden to contact or interfere,” Matlhuko told the court.
The judge, Estelle de Lange, said Mkhitha was confronted Table 5 fees.
To determine if it was in the interests of justice to release Mkhitha on bail, de Lange said: “I have to take into consideration Section 64 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”
This section addresses whether the applicant presents a flight risk, and whether the applicant might attempt to influence or intimidate witnesses, endanger the operation of the criminal justice system, disturb public order, or, if applicable, undermine public safety or security. possible. He was released on bail.
“I find that none of these factors are present in this application,” she said, and Makhitha was granted bail of R10,000.
Mukhitha’s bail conditions prevent him from calling any witnesses. He may not leave Bloemfontein without permission from the investigating officer, and must report to Bloemspruit Police Station every Monday between 08:00 and 16:00.
So far, 12 people are facing charges in the Bester escape saga and are expected to appear in court on August 8. They face a total of 16 charges.