'Killer' of petrol attendant drops bail bid
A Pretoria man accused of luring a petrol attendant to a mountain for a prayer session and later killed him has abandoned his bail bid.
Willington Kochidza, 27, appeared in the Pretoria magistrate's court in connection with the murder and kidnapping of Rendani Maphiri.
Police believe that Kochidza lured Maphiri, 27, to a mountain near Eesterus, east of Pretoria, where he was kidnapped and later killed.
Kochidza looked relaxed in court and showed little emotion when told by magistrate Thandi Teledi that his case would be postponed to April 7.
Teledi told Kochidza that he was facing multiple charges which include kidnapping, murder and robbery with aggravated circumstances.
Charges against two other accused, aged 21 and 27, who were initially charged together with Kochidza, were withdrawn.
The Maphiri family told Sowetan that they were struggling to find closure as they are waiting for DNA tests and results to be concluded before laying him to rest.
Family members who came to court yesterday said they were now living in fear and scared to show their faces in public as they don't know the motive behind his killing.
Maphiri's 32-year-old brother who refused to be identified told Sowetan that he received a call from his brother in October, telling him that he's been kidnapped and his abductor wanted a R5,000 ransom.
"I did not believe him at first. I thought he was joking until I heard another voice when someone grabbed his phone and told me that he has kidnapped him and demands R5,000," Maphiri's brother said.
"After I hung up, I called the police and reported the matter."
He, however, sent a total R2,200 via mobile phone electronic money transfers. He never heard anything from his brother or the kidnappers.
"I thought after I paid the money to the kidnapper, he would let my brother free."
Maphiri's brother said they didn't have a clue when they would have a funeral because police have kept them in the dark on the process and the time line thereof.
"I can't eat, sleep or do anything and the suspense of waiting is killing me and my family, especially my mother; she can't think straight..."
He described his brother as loving, caring, talkative and very bubbly. He had been a petrol attendant for four years.
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