Sword-killing case postponed to next year

Cutting a lone figure in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, alleged sword killer Morne Harmse smiled only when his family waved at him from the public gallery.

Harmse (18) appeared before magistrate Keith Page in a packed courtroom.

Harmse, allegedly brandishing a samurai sword and wearing a mask, is alleged to have killed 16-year-old Jacques Pretorius at the Nic Diederichs Technical High School on August 18. He also allegedly stabbed and injured another boy and two gardeners.

The Pretorius family sat in the front row as they patiently waited for the case to be heard.

They did not even look around the court room, as the Harmse family and friends occupied the second row of seats.

Harmse, wearing a plain white T-shirt, cut a lone figure in the dock. He only smiled when his family members waved at him as he walked down to the holding cells underground.

The case was postponed to January 28 2009 for the public prosecutor to decide whether the case must be heard at the regional court or high court.

Harmse faces charges of murder and attempted murder. The magistrate addressed the proceedings in Afrikaans.

Defence attorney Dolph Jonker told journalists outside the court room that they had abandoned the bail application because it would not be a success.

“There is not much prospect for bail, but maybe in the future,” said Jonker.

Jonker said Harmse was in a good frame of mind and “more talkative”.—Sapa

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