Ricochet News

Former ANC Cllr accused of shooting dead troublesome patron granted bail

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 18, 2018
Former ANC Cllr accused of shooting dead troublesome patron granted bail

A former African National Congress (ANC) Councillor for Motherwell's Ward 54, 50-year-old Aaron Nyikilana, who allegedly hunted down a 23-year-old man, Lindokuhle Marcus, on the 2nd of January and shot him dead was granted R6 000 bail by the Motherwell Magistrate's Court.

Nyikilana made his third appearance in the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

It is alleged that he shot Marcus dead for allegedly dancing on top of a table and disturbing other patrons at the former Councillor's tavern on New Year's Eve

The State, which opposed bail, told the court that Nyikilana faces a Schedule of 6 charges of premeditated murder as he allegedly waited for two days before acting against Marcus.

The Defence argued that Nyikilana had not been found guilty of planning the murder and he also did not run after committing the alleged crime.

In her ruling, the Magistrate agreed with the Defence that she had no reason to keep Nyikilana in custody as the State had not yet proven that he indeed planned and then went out to kill Marcus. She said that she had also taken into account the fact that after the alleged murder, the accused didn’t run away but presented himself at the police station.

She added that as far as she was concerned, Nyikilana is facing a Schedule 5 murder charge and not a Schedule 6 charge, which is more serious,  so she cannot keep the accused in custody until trial.

The Magistrate added that the State has only one witness, who claims to have witnessed everything and, according to the witness, he was not threatened in any way when he wanted to leave the vehicle of the accused.

She said that she is also yet to find evidence that Nyikilana threatened the mother of Marcus friend as alleged by the State.

While some residents protested last Thursday outside the court and handed in their petition, the Magistrate said that she would take that into account.

The Magistrate said the fact that Nyikilana is a former ANC councillor did not affect her judgement as it is not the court's duty to prove that a person is guilty - the courts are just there to ensure justice is served for both the victims and perpetrators.

Thus, the decision of whether the accused gets bail was taken after considering inputs from both the accused and the community, which is represented by the State.

The court also considered that to avoid strife in the Motherwell community, Nyikilana had submitted that he would stay at his alternative address in Walmer.

The court also found that in his previous convictions, the accused had abided by the courts ruling. 

Therefore, bail was granted and set at R6 000 on the conditions that he will not talk to any individuals affected by the case; he would not get in the way of the investigations by the police; he must report to his nearest police station in Walmer around 8am and 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays; he must stay in Walmer and only come to Motherwell for his next appearance in court.

The case was postponed to April.