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Murder case could go to high court

APPEARED: The four accused, Marlin Koopman, Rahjendra Beukes, Levert van Wyk and Derrick Vyfers appeared in the Kimberley Magistrates Court yesterday.

THE FOUR men accused of killing Ashwin Malan at a Kimberley guest house, will know during their next appearance whether their case will be referred to the Northern Cape High Court.

The four accused, Marlin Koopman, Rahjendra Beukes, Levert van Wyk and Derrick Vyfers, appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court yesterday after they were arrested following the fatal shooting of Malan, 29, at his mother’s guest house, Atlantis Guesthouse, in September last year.

Magistrate Brenda Roodt told the accused that, due to the serious nature of the crime, there was a strong possibility that the matter would be referred to the high court instead of the regional court.

The docket is still with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who will make the ultimate decision on where the matter will be heard.

Roodt advised Vyfers, who has no legal representation, to appoint a lawyer soon.

“Accused one, two and three are out on bail of R10 000 each. Accused four (Vyfers) has not yet appointed a lawyer and will need legal representation when the matter is heard in the high court. Should accused four appoint a lawyer before his next appearance, his lawyer will have to inform me in order for his bail application to be heard,” she said.

Vyfers, who is alleged to be the shooter in the incident, was arrested in Gauteng after he was sought by police.

His three co-accused, Beukes, Van Wyk and Koopman were released on R10 000 bail each.

Malan was shot three times during what was at the time of the incident believed to be a botched robbery.

On the day of the incident, the four accused apparently requested to book a room from the receptionist under false pretences. Malan was inside one of the other rooms on the premises.

The suspects allegedly held the receptionist at gunpoint in the reception area and Malan rushed to her aid after he heard her scream. He was the allegedly shot by the accused.

Vyfers remains in custody.