Student cop denied bail for teen killing
STUDENT constable Sipho Mbatha has been denied bail in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court.
Magistrate Deliza Smit listed four exceptional circumstances that guided her decision.
Smit said Mbatha was seemingly negligent and would not be safe because the community had threatened his life following the killing of Thato Mokoka.
Smit said Mbatha admitted to negligence on the day he allegedly shot and killed the 16-year-old in Soweto.
In a statement, Mbatha admitted to turning off the safety catch of his R5 rifle when the police went to Mokoka's house following claims of robbery.
State witnesses testified to Mbatha's disinterest in reporting for work as expected and Smit found this to be an example of the kind of conduct Mbatha might show when he had to report for his case.
Smit also said releasing the applicant would put the criminal justice system into disrepute
She was referring to the outrage the community showed when the story first broke. The case was postponed to June 1 pending further investigation.