ALLEGED crime kingpin William "Mashobane" Mbatha was out on R50000 bail for another case when the state alleges he tried to rob a businessman of R30000.
But magistrate Hasani Mashimbye of the Germiston magistrate's court is optimistic that the convicted criminal will not get into mischief again and shocked people in the courtroom yesterday when he granted one of Gauteng's most wanted suspects R15000 bail.
Prosecutor Thabo Motlhamme had argued that releasing Mbatha would not be in the interest of justice because he is facing nine unrelated charges in the Pretoria magistrate's court, ranging from car theft and house-breaking to possession of an illegal firearm and tax offences.
Minister of Police Nathi Mthetwa's office said there were many similar cases where repeat offenders got released by the courts.
Spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said: "It is disturbing for police to use resources and hunt criminals, present them to the courts and only to have them released." He said this was why government planned to review the justice system.
Crime Intelligence spokesperson, Tummi Golding said: "Where is justice here? It is demoralising to the police who have worked so hard to get this man only to be released on such low bail."
Often called the "King of Bling", Mbatha was arrested last week in Johannesburg, when he went to collect his Lamborghini.
He was bust after an alleged attempted robbery in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, on July 14 in which he is said to have produced a fake police identity card.
Detective Inspector Sathieseel Pillay earlier testified that after the botched robbery Mbatha had slipped into a police car and fled.
The 36-year-old socialite told the court during his bail hearing on Wednesday that he had spent time in jail for theft, corruption and housebreaking.
Then magistrate Mashimbye granted him bail yesterday.
The ruling caused a murmur of disbelief across the packed gallery. Mashimbye then ordered Mbatha to report to Pillay every Wednesday between 6am and 6pm until the trial is over.
The ruling has outraged the Democratic Alliance.
"According to the law, you should be locked up if you commit a crime while out on bail. Why bother to have bail if the rules thereof are not adhered to?" asked Kate Lorimer, the party's Gauteng spokesperson on community safety.
The scar-faced Mbatha, who is from Atteridgeville, is known for his expensive lifestyle. He also owns two BMWs and two Harley-Davidson motorbikes and two luxury houses in Centurion and Hartbeespoort Dam.