NIRVANA MURDER – Nirvana residents and other protesters made their feelings towards murder accused, Rameez Patel clear during the court proceedings on Tuesday. Patel is suspected of fatally shooting his wife, Fatima on 10 April.
Residents were adamant that Patel be given bail in order for him to be dealt with by the community. Others suggested that rotting in jail may be the best sentence for him. Joining them at court were members of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL), ANC Youth League (Ancyl), Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) and members of Congress of South African Students (Cosas).
Ancyl Provincial Spokesperson Onicca Moloi prior to the hearing said: “We oppose any form of violence against women and children. We want to mobilise young people to rise up and ensure that our society is free of gender based violence. This is our own Oscar Pistorius case and it is a pure example of what some women are exposed to,” Moloi said.
Because of the interest in the case it was supposed to be heard first thing in the morning but when the case only started after 11:00, state prosecutor Mark von Dronik argued that he was not prepared for the case as he was only handed the docket about an hour before the proceedings commenced.
Defence attorney Stefanie Fourie said her client was arrested six days after the incident and first appeared in court on 17 April. “The state had six days to prepare for the bail application. My client is getting frustrated. His three children already have to grow up without a mother and now their father is also absent,” she argued.
Magistrate Mohamed Shaik gave the state until 14:00 on the day to prepare for the bail application. To this instruction Von Dronik argued that Shaik might be biased in his decision because of possible relations with the two families. Shaik made it clear that even though he became emotional during Patel’s first court appearance, his decision and judgement will not be affected by his emotions. Shaik clarified that the case evoked events in his childhood which caused his emotions. “I am human. I also cry when I watch movies. If you pinch me, I hurt too. I am human,” Shaik said and ruled that the state is not able to prove that the court’s decision will be partial. Fourie also confirmed that neither Rameez nor his deceased wife knew Shaik.
Patel’s affidavit was read to the court by Fourie who clearly indicated that Patel has no reason to flee and that he has no previous or pending cases against him. The state wanted to call the investigating officer to the stand but indicated that the court would not be able to complete the bail application before end of day.
Shaik asked for a meeting with council in the judge’s chamber. Court then proceeded and he ruled the case to be postponed to 4 May in order for the state to produce evidence. Patel remains in custody. Shaik warned that court will start on time and 7 May was also reserved should they also not complete the bail application on the day.