Anger as tearful Forest High School stabbing suspect granted R5,000 bail
He must move away from home and leave Turffontein suburb
The pupil who allegedly killed grade 8 pupil Daniel Bakwela and injured two others outside Forest High School in Turffontein, Johannesburg, is set to be released after a week in police custody.
The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court agreed to bail of R5,000 on Monday.
Dressed in a branded jacket, faded pants and navy comfy boots, Mohammed Moela looked down, with tears running down his face.
The grade 11 pupil, aged 20, told the court at a previous appearance that he was acting in self-defence after a gang-related altercation. Moela's written affidavit, which was read by his attorney Mudi Mavhengani, said he had been attacked by alleged "Stoutkinders" gang members, popularly known as the STKs.
Magistrate Basimame Molwana said on Monday the interests of justice permitted that Moela be granted bail.
"Bail is, however, granted at R5,000 not at R500 as previously asked."
The defence attorney had confirmed he was hired by the family and was not working pro bono (for free).
"The accused had a right to apply for Legal Aid but he elected to appoint a private attorney ... That places the family in a position to pay the R5,000 bail," the magistrate said.
His bail conditions includes that he relocates to an alternative address, does not visit the Turffontein area, does not interfere with state witnesses, must surrender his passport and may not leave the country without consulting the investigating officer.
The ruling was followed by emotional scenes among Bakwela's family members. Bakwela's uncle, Raymond Okitai, expressed disappointment that the accused would be released ahead of trial.
"This is unacceptable, this person is charged with murder and attempted murder but walks free just like that," said Okitai.