Accused wanted out of prison as he said the living condition were 'below par' and his salary had been frozen
A MAN accused of kidnapping and murdering his ex-girlfriend and then dumping her body in the veld before setting fire to it, was denied bail in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Dennis September, 26, and his teenage girlfriend, Kenee-Lee Kruger, 19, are both facing charges of murder, kidnapping, defeating the ends of justice and the violation of a corpse after allegedly killing September’s former girlfriend, Seshne Blaauw, and then setting her body alight in October 2015.
However, only September applied for bail yesterday, after being in custody for almost two years since his arrest in November 2015.
Blaauw’s burnt body was found near Beefmaster in Kimdustria in October 2015.
September’s legal representative yesterday handed in an affidavit by his client, wherein he explained that he was a SANDF employee, was the sole breadwinner to his three children and his mother, had no previous convictions, intended to plead not guilty and was struggling to obtain the correct medication while in custody after being diagnosed with depression.
The affidavit further stated that the living conditions in jail were “below par”, the SANDF had frozen his salary in February this year and that his release on bail could help him in getting his job back and paying his legal fees.
The State then called the case’s investigating officer, who explained that he had attended the scene where Blaauw’s body was found. He said that the body was “burnt beyond recognition” to the extent that he could not tell if the body was male or female.
DNA testing later matched the body with a missing person, namely Blaauw.
The investigating officer added that one of September’s neighbours had made an affidavit stating that September and Kruger had been seen going “in and out” of September’s shack “a day or two” before the body was found.
The State alleges that September murdered Blaauw in the shack before loading her body into the boot of his car and then dumping it in the veld and setting fire to it.
The investigating officer also said that a witness, a friend and colleague of September, received a call from September on the day of the alleged incident.
According to the witness, September asked him how to dispose of a body. September later allegedly told the friend how he had murdered his ex-girlfriend and disposed of her body. He also apparently stated that he would flee to Lesotho if he was not arrested.
The friend recorded the second conversation after becoming suspicious following the first phone call.
The investigating officer said that the witness believed his life would be in danger if September was released on bail and even asked to be placed in witness protection if a bail application succeeded.
When asked by the State if the murder was considered to be premeditated, the investigating officer indicated that an interdict had been taken out by Blaauw against September. In the affidavit Blaauw said that she had received several threats from September and that he had threatened to “suffocate her and their child with gas” and “burn her to death with paraffin while she was asleep”.
The post-mortem indicated that Blaauw’s body was found with electrical wire around her neck and showed signs of strangulation/smothering.
Magistrate Danie Schneider, while handing down judgment in the bail application, said that he was of the opinion that the State had presented an exceptionally strong case and that September chose to not say anything to the contrary.
He found that there was a strong possibility that September could intimidate or interfere with witnesses, considering the threats made to the deceased before her death and the fact that he violated the protection order, and that he could attempt to evade trial following the allegations that he would flee the country.
Schneider said that there was also a likelihood that September could disrupt public order and peace, as the brutal and barbaric nature of the murder would have sent shock waves through the community.
Schneider added that he was not convinced that September’s release on bail would be in the interests of justice and dismissed the application.
September will remain in custody until his next court appearance, together with Kruger, in November.