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R20k bail for man accused of Lichtenburg teen’s murder

The Lichtenburg Magistrates Court granted Jaco du Plooy, who faces one charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder, R20,000 bail.

Gavel on cuffs. Picture: SAPS

JOHANNESBURG –The man accused of killing 15-year-old Joseph Tshukudu during a Lichtenburg protest earlier this month has been granted bail on Thursday.

The Lichtenburg Magistrates Court granted Jaco du Plooy – who faces one charge of murder and two counts of attempted murder – R20,000 bail.

Du Plooy is accused of killing the teenager and wounding two others when he opened fire on the protesting crowd near Sukran, before fleeing from the scene.

He turned himself in that same evening.

The North West National Prosecuting Authority says while it respects the court, it is disappointed by the court’s decision.

Spokesperson Frank Lesenyego says, “We are disappointed that the court failed to take into consideration the submissions that we made to the honourable court. The first submission is that the if the accused is released on bail it will disturb the public order, and then secondly it will also put in danger the safety of the accused.”

Du Plooy's family has allegedly received threats from disgruntled community members.

Lesenyego says the court's decision potentially jeopardises the safety of the accused and his family.

“From the police investigation was that families of the accused received threats then there was also the community saying that if he is released on bail then they will start burning the properties.”

The matter has been postponed to 30 November 2017.

THREATS OF PUBLIC VIOLENCE

The police have confirmed that a crowd of nearly 300 people gathered outside the court before the accused’s appearance.

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Lesenyego says there has been talk violence following the decision.

The police say the crowd has since dispersed, but they will continue to monitor the situation in the area.

In April, residents in neighbouring Coligny took to the streets following the death of 12-year-old Matlhomola Mosheou who allegedly fell off the back of a bakkie.

The two men accused of Mosheou’s death, Pieter Doorewaard and Philip Schutte, were granted bail of R5,000 each resulting in yet another protest.

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