Charges withdrawn against man accused of starting Cape Town fire
17
Jul 2021

Lees meer in

Representations by Frederick Mhangazo’s defence team convince State to drop case

By Marecia Damons | GroundUp

Frederick Mhangazo and Shaun Balram outside the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Friday. Photo: Marecia Damons

Charges against a man accused of starting the Cape Town fire in April were withdrawn by the State in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

Frederick Mhangazo, 35, was arrested in the vicinity of Devil’s Peak on Sunday 18 April, hours after a devastating blaze had spread across Table Mountain.

He first appeared in court on 20 April facing charges of arson. At his second court appearance on 28 April, the charges were changed to a breach of the National and Environmental Management Act, and he was granted bail of R500. In June, the State asked the court for more time to gather evidence.

According to Mhangazo’s lawyer, Shaun Balram, Friday’s case was on the court roll for representations, meaning that the defence had to assess the merits of the State’s case and write to them in order to convince them that they should not proceed with the matter.

Based on the strength of the defence’s representations, the prosecutor said the State had decided to withdraw all charges against Mhangazo.

“We were able to critically analyse all the statements of the state witnesses and find loopholes and the lack of sufficient evidence for them to ascertain a conviction … We were able to convince them not to proceed with the case and to withdraw it,” said Balram.

Outside the court, Mhangazo said he was happy the matter was over and expressed gratitude towards Balram, who had taken on the case pro bono.

Sondagtafel

Sondagtafel

Moenie ons stokvis onderskat nie. Met hierdie resep kan jy ‘n geurige dis skep.

VRA VIR DAVE

Die dag as ‘n Springbok jou tuin invaar…

As jy nou wel Springbokke in jou agterplaas aanhou, dan is hier raad. Lees hier…

How to get rid of cockroaches in an ecologically friendly way

Follow this advice if you want to get rid of cockroaches without any unnatural poisons.

Reader asks: Can you identify this awfully ugly bug?

This little bugger is not what it seems to be.

HERINNERINGE

Vergete resepte – nes jou ouma dit sou maak!

Almal het ‘n ouma of ma wat ‘n dis kon gaarmaak en optower – en wat ons nooit meer vandag maak nie – maar wat ons vir altyd sal onthou.

Dave onthou kinderdae, die ritueel van blomme pluk en sy geliefde Ouma

Ou, bekende reuke neem Dave terug na sy kinderdae en sy geliefde Ouma Lily.

Hoe ons aardsheid ons wyse bepaal

Ek het in trane uitgebars, want in my geil verbeelding het daar ’n dooie hondjie gelê in elke bos riete, biesies en ruigte…

VERKENNINGS

Die disrespek en boewery van ons begraafplase

Die skending van ons begraafplase is iets wat aandag moet kry.

Beleef die natuur en die reukruim met Dave

Dave reël gereeld uitstappies met groepe wat belangstel om hul eie wilde sampioene te versamel asook praatjies oor parfuum.

All the photos from the coldest night of the year

Judging by these photos, it was indeed a cold night.