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Prominent criminal attorney to assist Hout Bay community in attack cases

William Booth said residents were sick and tired of the ongoing attacks and his job was to act as a legal adviser for the concerned community.

William Booth. Picture: williambooth.co.za

CAPE TOWN - In an effort to put an end to attacks on hikers, Hout Bay residents have roped in top criminal attorney William Booth to assist.

This comes after the murder of a Ukrainian tourist that has shone the spotlight on mountain safety.

Forty-three-year-old Ivan Ivanov was stabbed to death while hiking at East Fort above Chapman's Peak Drive last weekend.

Three men arrested in connection with Ivanov's murder appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates Court last week where their cases were postponed to 21 August for a formal bail application.

Booth said the residents were sick and tired of the ongoing attacks.

He said his job was to act as the go-between.

“I just believe they want the matter to be conducted properly and they want to ensure that bail is refused for these people that have been arrested.

Booth said he would act as an adviser for the concerned community.

“It’s as a watching brief, to engage with the NPA and to talk to the communities to explain exactly what happens in these matters. Sometimes members of the community are not quite sure why people are being released and what actually happens in court.

“And obviously it’s not for me to tell the NPA or the magistrate what their job is. They know exactly what it is. But I think the community feels that there is someone to talk to and I can advise them on what happens with regards to these matters and with regards to bail applications. I will obviously engage with the prosecutors. “

Hout Bay non-profit group Community Crime Prevention has drawn up an online petition posted on the change.org website which they will hand to the Wynberg magistrate presiding over the case.

So far, more than 2,000 people have signed the petition lobbying for bail to be denied.

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