KZN farmer accused of murdering an ex-employee denied bail
Philip Solomon – who stands accused of murdering a former employee at a funeral on his farm – was denied bail in the New Hanover Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said that Solomon was remanded in custody and would return to court next month. His bail application had stretched over three weeks‚ with his legal team mounting a determined bid to see his release ahead of his trial.
During his application the court heard that Mothiwa Ngubane‚ who once worked for Solomon‚ had been attending a funeral at a homestead which lies on a hillside on the farmer’s land.
Solomon had seemingly tried to stop the burial‚ which led to a heated argument and culminated in the death of Ngubane‚ who was shot three times.
Solomon had said in a statement read before court earlier in his bid for bail that he had felt threatened by a group of mourners and had drawn his gun to protect himself. The elderly farmer had then barricaded himself in his home‚ leaving police to negotiate with him for more than hour to ensure he relinquished his gun and hand himself over.
The murder has exposed racial fault-lines in the agrarian community‚ drawing back the veil on allegations of historical prejudice and violence.
Two days after Solomon’s first appearance in court‚ his life-partner was attacked by a group of men on their property. Marie Bucher‚ 60‚ sustained serious head trauma when she was beaten in the attack.
At his court appearance‚ protesters chanted “kill the boer‚ kill the farmer”.