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Three in court for Piet Els attack

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Els is still in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Mediclinic Gariep, while his partner has been discharged from hospital

POSTPONED: Morapedi Rankali, Motlalentwe Qhautse and Thuso Ramolo appeared briefly in the Kimberley Magistrates Court on Friday on charges of housebreaking, robbery and rape. Their bail application will take place this week. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE BAIL application of the men linked to the attack on prominent Kimberley businessman Piet Els and his partner on his farm just outside Kimberley, was postponed to this week after a third suspect was added to the matter.

The three men, Morapedi Rankali, Motlalentwe Qhautse and Thuso Ramolo, appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of housebreaking, robbery and rape following the incident which took place on January 24.

The gallery was packed with employees from Kimberley Clothing who attended court proceedings in support of Els’s partner, who is a co-owner of the company.

The third accused was arrested on February 7 in Galeshewe, while accused one was arrested on January 31 and accused two on February 2.

Although all three accused had originally indicated that they wanted legal aid representation, the second accused, however, told the court that he wanted to represent himself.

A Section 37 order was also granted to the police after the State indicated that accused two had refused to give his co-operation to officials who wanted to take his fingerprints at the holding cells.

Els and his partner were viciously attacked and tortured in the early hours of January 24 by four men who forced their way into the bedroom of Els’s farmhouse.

The men fled with firearms, jewellery, cash and cellphones.

They left the scene in Els’s white Mercedes Benz, which was later found abandoned next to the R31 road to Barkly West.

Els is still in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Mediclinic Gariep, while his partner has been discharged from hospital.