Baby basher: 'I have no case to answer'

UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: Accused Gerald Nyantumbo, 28, and Nelson Maphosa, 25, in the dock in the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday. Pic.: BAFANA MAHLANGU. 12/05/2010. © Sowetan
UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: Accused Gerald Nyantumbo, 28, and Nelson Maphosa, 25, in the dock in the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday. Pic.: BAFANA MAHLANGU. 12/05/2010. © Sowetan

NELSON Maphosa, one of the three men accused of brutally assaulting an infant during a house robbery in Johannesburg, believes the state has no case against him.

NELSON Maphosa, one of the three men accused of brutally assaulting an infant during a house robbery in Johannesburg, believes the state has no case against him.

The 28-year-old Mozambican yesterday asked the Johannesburg magistrate's court to grant him bail, saying nothing linked him directly to the crime.

"There is no mention of an identification parade, DNA, fingerprints or eyewitnesses by the state that could link the accused to the crime," said his lawyer, Jacques Nel.

Maphosa, 28, and co-accused Geraldt Nyantumbo, 25, are charged with attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Nyantumbo abandoned his bail application, while another suspect, Chakoma Machaba, fled the country soon after the incident. He was arrested in Mozambique on Tuesday. He will be extradited to South Africa to stand trial.

The three men allegedly brutally attacked one-year-old Marzene Kruger and her minder, Francina Sekhu, during a house robbery in Robindale, Randburg, last month.

Marzene is still in a critical condition at Sandton Medi-Clinic, while Sekhu was treated and discharged.

The state opposed bail on the grounds that Maphosa was a flight risk, that he might interfere with witnesses and that he was a danger to society.

"The accused knows the witnesses and where they live. There is a possibility the witnesses will be intimidated if bail is granted," prosecutor Colleen Ryan said.

She also argued that the police had not conducted identification parades because the victims knew them before the incident.

"The complainant knows the accused. She had worked with them for about two months at her place of employment. The accused has no property or assets. It would be easy for him to just pack and go back to Mozambique," she said.

The ruling on the bail application will be announced next Thursday.

X