Ricochet News

Case against PE father accused of throwing baby off shack roof postponed

By Afikile Lugunya - Apr 16, 2018
Case against PE father accused of throwing baby off shack roof postponed

The charge of attempted murder against a 38-year-old Port Elizabeth father, who allegedly threw his one-year-old daughter from the roof of a shack in Kwadwesi on Thursday last week has provisionally been changed to child abuse.

Mthobeki Mkhathali appeared in New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Monday and he will remain in custody while the police complete their investigations and the validation of his address.

His legal representative, Defence Attorney, Mxolisi Moolman, argued that it is illegal to remand a person in custody because the police failed to complete their initial investigations within the 48 hours prescribed by the law.

Moolman said he found it “unfair” for a man to continue to suffer in a prison cell while the State thinks about further charges.

As promised, Democratic Alliance Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga, who is also the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's MMC  for Human Settlements, was at the court accompanied by the DA's Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbele.

Mbele said that effort to cater for those, who do not have permanent residence must be made, but “we cannot just sit allow illegal occupation of land and structures on land”.

“At some point, the rule of law has to kick in in particular when the illegalities block the proper opportunities for those, who are fairly on the list of housing," he described.

While commenting on how he thinks that case was handled, Mbele said; "From all accounts, I think they handled it is in a good manner because the child was saved and protected."

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Metro Police Chief, Yolanda Faro, welcomed the postponement of the case.

“For the Mero police, we really against child abuse and we understand and agree that in terms of further investigations it must be postponed and also maybe more charges will be added pending their investigations,” she added.

While the Metro police and the DA welcomed the postponement of the case, community members, who had gathered outside the court blamed the media for allegedly publishing wrong information about what exactly happened - although they refused to give comment on what exactly took place when they were asked to.

The group of about 20 individuals protested outside court and pleaded with the court to release Mkhathali.

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