Pair jailed despite bail consent

Source: Pair jailed despite bail consent | Herald (Crime)

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent

TWO men, including a South African, on Saturday appeared in court on allegations of sending threatening messages to a Harare man, Sivan Ofer.

Lourens Botha and Mathew Mullaji were facing threats to commit murder charges when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi.

Mr Mangosi remanded the two in custody for bail ruling today despite a bail consent from deputy prosecutor in charge Mr Michael Reza.

The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti consented to bail and Mr Mangosi questioned why this was the case to which the former replied that there were no compelling reasons for continued detention of the accused persons.

“The State is not opposing bail as we believe that the two accused persons will not abscond given the charges they are facing,” said Mr Mutsokoti.

The lawyer representing the suspects Mr Admire Rubaya told the court that Ofer boasted to the accused persons that even if the State consented to bail, they would not be freed as he was well connected.

Mr Rubaya said Ofer was criminally abusing the justice system of the country adding that his clients were now afraid that they would languish in jail as a result of Ofer’s alleged connections.

“Bail is a constitutional right for everyone and should not be denied because of one’s nationality said Mr Rubaya.

Mr Rubaya further submitted that there was no word that threatened anyone’s life from the messages before the court.

It is alleged that between September 1 and last week, Botha and Mullaji together with their accomplice Dov Morgan, who is still at large, sent messages threatening the life of Ofer using cellphones with South African numbers.

One of the messages read: “Will deal with you thoroughly. If I fail to deal with you on earth, I will deal with you in Mars.”

The court heard that the words instilled fear in Ofer who now believed the accused persons and their accomplice would harm him.

Ofer reported the alleged threats to police leading to the arrest of Botha and Mullaji.

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