South Africa: Homeless Attacks - Accused Hires Private Defence, Terminates Services of Legal-Aid

20 November 2019

The man accused of stabbing two homeless people in Tshwane earlier this year has hired a private advocate after making use of legal-aid services for the past five months.

Manus Mothupi appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday where he informed the court that he terminated the services of legal-aid.

The matter was on the roll for a formal bail application, which had to be postponed so that Mothupi's new advocate could prepare.

The bail application has been postponed before.

On Wednesday the bail application was postponed to November 26, nearly five months after Mothupi was arrested.

According to the charge sheet, which News24 has seen, Mothupi is facing two attempted murder charges.

The first charge stems from the attempted murder of a man who was stabbed near Magnolia Park on February 21. It is alleged that he used a butcher's knife to stab the homeless man in the stomach, hand and left knee.

The second attempted murder charge stems from the murder of another man on March 3, also in Magnolia Park. Mothupi allegedly stabbed him in his left arm and chest, according to the charge sheet.

News24 previously reported that the investigation has been completed and that the State is ready to proceed to trial.

Police and the National Prosecuting Authority have insisted that Mothupi is not connected to the murders of five homeless men , whose bodies were found in the Muckleneuk in Pretoria in June.

Mothupi was arrested at the end of June.

According to police, the first of the five bodies was found in a veld near the Mears Park train station on June 1. Two more bodies were found in Magnolia Park on June 8 and 9.

A fourth body was found on a pavement on the corner of Justice Mohammed and Troye streets on June 18, and a fifth body was discovered a day later, on June 19, at a bus stop about 400m from Unisa's main campus, also in Muckleneuk.

Police said the five victims were homeless, middle-aged men. They were all killed at night.

News24 also understands that victims were either stabbed, suffered blunt force trauma or injuries inflicted in both manners.

Source: News24

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