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Ring of steel around 'killer' teen

By unknown | Jan 18, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Getrude Makhafola

Getrude Makhafola

Heavily armed police in riot gear stood around the courtroom in Swartruggens, North West, yesterday where alleged racial killer Johan Nel was appearing.

And it only took magistrate Andre Kleynhans less than two minutes to postpone teenage suspect Nel's case to next Thursday for further investigation.

Nel was remanded in custody.

He is charged with multiple murder and attempted murder after allegedly shooting and killing four people in the nearby Skielik informal settlement.

Seven people were also injured.

Transported to the courtyard in a dark-tinted window sedan, the police made sure that Nel was completely hidden from the public. Only journalists, the families of victims and the police had a glimpse of the 17-year-old.

Dressed in a blue T-shirt, black pants and flip flops, he portrayed a picture of an innocent schoolboy as he sat listening to prosecutor Colins Uys and Kleynhans.

He was later whisked away in the speeding sedan.

The families of the victims expressed anger and disappointment, saying both Uys and Kleynhans did not bother to even appoint a Tswana interpreter.

"The whole proceedings were conducted in Afrikaans and we could not hear anything whatsoever," said Nkele Motshelanoka, whose 10-year-old nephew was also killed in Monday's shooting.

Emotions ran high as the angry crowd protested outside the court and bayed for Nel's blood.

One elderly woman collapsed during the heated protests.

Director Jan Ramabula, who heads the province's detectives, said before the court sitting that the media were not allowed to take pictures of the suspect until an identification parade was completed - even though he had appeared in court.

"You must understand that this is the investigation procedure," said Ramabula.


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