Student robbed, shot dead in Hatfield: two suspects arrested
A petition has been launched to deny bail to two suspects accused of murdering a University of Pretoria honours student during a street robbery at the weekend.
The suspects, aged 38 and 33, appeared before the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Monday to face charges of murder, armed robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Mavela Masondo said the 23-year-old student was walking in Hatfield at about 2am when he was accosted by a suspect who shot at him and took his belongings before he jumped into a getaway vehicle, a white Toyota Corolla.
Police were alerted by private security guards.
“During routine patrols, police noticed a car that matched the description of the getaway vehicle and stopped it. Two occupants were searched and found in possession of an unlicensed firearm and the deceased's personal belongings,” said Masondo.
The student was identified on social media as Thapelo Menwe by friends including Neo Rampai, who has started a Change.org petition. that has to date gained nearly 500 signatures.
The petition calls on the National Prosecuting Authority and the Pretoria magistrate's court to deny his alleged killers bail and impose the maximum sentence if they are convicted.
“We cannot let Thapelo's death be in vain. His alleged killers cannot just walk free,” said Rampai.
The University of Pretoria confirmed the fatal attack “with great shock and sadness”. It encouraged students to use the Green Route services where a security escort walks students to and from their residences and vehicles in university parking areas along a specific path. This service is available from 6pm to 6am daily.
The suspects are due back in court on September 19.
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