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Second suspect in teen’s murder case

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The accused handed himself over after police were unable to trace him and he denied fleeing Kimberley for Upington in an effort to evade arrest.

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A SECOND suspect is expected to be added when the murder trial of a Northern Cape high school pupil continues in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court next week.

Christopher Ortell, a high school pupil from Upington, is accused of murdering 19-year-old Kimberley resident Riedwaan Mackay before allegedly burning and dumping his body in April last year.

Ortell appeared before Magistrate Danie Schreuder on Friday, when the matter was postponed until next Tuesday (May 15) when a second suspect is expected to be added.

While this was originally due to have taken place on Friday, the additional suspect was not brought to the court, resulting in further postponements.

In the interim, both suspects will remain in custody, with Ortell having already made two failed bail applications after handing himself in shortly after the alleged incident.

During Ortell’s initial application, in May 2017, the State successfully opposed bail for what the investigating officer (IO), Captain Sylvester Magugu, described as a “brutal, barbaric and senseless murder”, which had left both witnesses to the crime and relatives of the deceased living in fear of the accused.

The IO added that he had been present when the doctor who conducted the autopsy stated that the death appeared to have been as a result of suffocation caused by a sock that was found lodged in Mackay’s mouth.

In his affidavit, Ortell said that he doubted whether he had been responsible for the death of Mackay, adding that while he had been urged to confess to the offence, he remained sceptical regarding whether he had delivered the fatal blow.

The accused said he had handed himself over after police were unable to trace him and he denied fleeing Kimberley for Upington in an effort to evade arrest.

A second unsuccessful application was made on new evidence in February, which saw Ortell remain in custody.