Protests, placards as Skielik accused appears in court

The case of Skielik murder accused Johan Nel has been transferred to the Mmabatho High Court in Mafikeng.

Nel appeared in the Swartruggens Magistrate’s Court on Monday before magistrate Andre Kleynhans, who transferred his case for trial in Mafikeng from November 17 to 21.

Nel (18) is facing four counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder, as well as charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm, possession of ammunition and damage to property.

Dressed in a cream white jacket, a brown pair of trousers and black shoes, Nel arrived in court just before 9am. He looked straight ahead as heavily armed police officers escorted him to the dock.

Bystanders remarked that Nel had gained weight since his last appearance on April 14.

The street leading to the court was cordoned off with close to 30 police officers patrolling.

Prosecutor Karen Bekker began proceedings by informing Kleynhans that the director of public protections recommended that the matter be transferred to the Mmabatho High Court in Mafikeng.

Frikkie Pretorius, for Nel, said the defence had no objections.

Kleynhans read the charges again and set down the week of November 17 for trial in the Mmabatho High Court.

Nel was driven back to the nearby Rooigrond prison near Mafikeng.

Outside court, about 100 Swartruggens residents protested, blowing whistles and waving placards calling for a life sentence to be given to Nel.
Apart from the police and reporters, only those affected by the crime were allowed in court.
Congress of South African Trade Unions provincial secretary Solly Phetoe later informed the crowd of what was said inside court.

Nel was declared mentally fit to stand trial on April 14 following his referral for psychiatric observation in February.

He allegedly went on a shooting spree in the Skielik informal settlement in North West on January 14. The attack, believed to have been racially motivated, left four people dead and six seriously wounded.

Enoch Tshepo Motshelanoka (10), Kegitlho Elizabeth Moiphitlhi (three months), her mother, Anna (31), and Sivuyile Banani (35) were killed during the attack.

The six who were seriously injured were Margaret Madibane, Sinah Moithitlhi, Kelebogile Serothe, Maria Serothe, Alex Mohlakula and Christina Loutering.—Sapa

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