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Road rage murder accused granted bail


Road rage murder accused Edward Williamson, 33, was granted bail of R5,000 in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, as the magistrate believed that he would suffer tremendous financial prejudice while in custody.

The accused, Edward Williamson and Darryl Williamson. Picture: Soraya Crowie

ROAD rage murder accused Edward Williamson, 33, was granted bail of R5,000 in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, as the magistrate believed that he would suffer tremendous financial prejudice while in custody.

His co-accused, Darryl Williamson, 25, was denied bail on February 1.

The accused are charged with murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.

The firearm that was used in the apparent road rage incident that took place in Roodepan on January 27, where one person was killed and two men were assaulted and stabbed, has not been recovered yet.

Edward’s legal representative, advocate Sakkie Nel, said that his client intended to plead not guilty to the charges.

“He owns four Quantams, two buses, bakkies and courier vehicles … He is unable to earn an income while incarcerated. He may lose his homes and assets and will not be able to take care of his family and minor children,” said Nel.

He pointed out that Edward was not inside the bakkie when the deceased was driven over.

“He was walking on foot when the gunshot was fired. It has yet to be established who owns the firearm.”

Nel stated that the senior State prosecutor had not opposed bail.

“My client only has one conviction for assault GBH that took place 15 years ago. He will not intimidate or interfere with any witnesses. He runs a business and is not a drug lord or warlord.”

The investigating officer in the matter, Sergeant Samuel Modise, indicated that the community at large and surviving complainant feared for their safety.

“While the accused will be able to recover his losses, what about the life that was taken that cannot be replaced?” asked Modise.

“The children of the deceased have been orphaned. They lost their father as a result of a violent crime.”

He stated that the accused only sustained minor scratches on his upper arm while the driver of the Polo spent seven days in hospital.

Modise said the complainant and the deceased went fishing in Barkly West on January 27 and returned to Kimberley at around 8pm.

“After stopping at a tavern to buy two beers, they overtook a bakkie on the main road in Roodepan. They noticed the bakkie chasing after them at high speed.

“The complainant was slapped by the accused when he got out of the car to find out why they had pushed them off the road. He decided to flee from the scene and, while rushing home, the bakkie and a taxi pursued after them.”

Modise stated that the driver heard a gunshot being fired from the direction of the bakkie when he arrived at his grandmother’s house.

“A magazine was found near the door of the Polo, where the driver was assaulted.

“The deceased ran down Melia Street after the occupants inside the bakkie got out and started to attack him.”

He added that a taxi driver employed by the accused received two calls informing him that a Polo and a Toyota Corolla were “causing problems” for the accused.

“He said the accused sounded ‘angry’ and gave him his location on the corner of Starling and Melia streets. Upon his arrival, he found the Polo parked in front of the house and noticed that there were a lot of people in the street. He saw both accused persons fighting with an occupant of the Polo.

“He tried to stop the fight and saw an accused, with a big build, chasing after the deceased while he was carrying a firearm.”

Modise stated that a neighbour who was standing outside also witnessed a man wearing a Puma T-shirt running down Melia Street.

“He said the person who was stabbed tried to escape into his property. He told him to rather go to his own house when he saw a big-built person holding a firearm running towards the person wearing the Puma T-shirt. He indicated that the firearm jammed when he tried to shoot.

“He also saw the accused’s vehicle bumping into the deceased.”

Modise indicated that after the accused were arrested, the police returned to the house to inspect the bakkie.

“The vehicle was clean and neat although the Local Crime Scene Laboratories, Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management unit found blood stains under the driver’s seat. A magazine, live rounds and projectile were found on the scene.”

Modise added that the accused reported to the police station after the taxi driver informed him that the police were searching for him.

State prosecutor Moloatse Ramokotong pointed out that it was never disputed that the accused was at the scene of the crime or that he was the owner of the bakkie.

“After slapping the driver of the Polo on the side of the road, the accused followed him to his grandmother’s house where he continued violently assaulting him.”

Ramokotong said that the accused’s conviction for assault GBH, even though it was in 2008, showed he had a propensity towards violence.

“If granted bail, evidence such as the firearm that was used in the commission of the crime may be destroyed. The public and victims of violent crimes rely on the court for protection from perpetrators.”

Magistrate Evertson believed that the State had based its case on hearsay evidence.

“There is not enough evidence to prove that the safety of the complainant or the community will be endangered. There were no protests or placards held by community members in objection to his release.”

She added that the accused would be required to report daily to the Roodepan police station as part of his bail conditions and was warned not to interfere with any witnesses.

The family of the 31-year-old complainant who was injured during the incident, believe that justice has failed them after bail was granted to one of the accused. Picture: Sandi Kwon Hoo
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