After having been refused bail again and again, murder accused Stockley Kavejao (42), is once again asking the High Court to release him on bail.
This time Kavejao claims the threat of him interfering with State witnesses has disappeared, as the witnesses have already testified. He was refused bail in September 2014 by Judge Christi Liebenberg for this very reason.
At the time Judge Liebenberg said: “ The court is satisfied that there is a real likelihood that the applicant will interfere with the witnesses and evidence,” and dismissed the application.
He further said: “The circumstances of the case are such that there is a real risk that the applicant (Kavejao) will abscond and/or interfere with the witnesses and evidence”.
Kavejao is on trial for the murder of renowned stock theft investigator Hiambepo ‘Major’ Kazeurua, along with Matheu Kakururume, 31, Muvare Kaporo, 27, and Afas Kamutjemo, 40.
They pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, stock theft and defeating or attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice.
According to the indictment, the accused conspired to kill Kazeurua to prevent him from tracing cattle they had stolen and Kaporo and Kakururume ambushed him and killed him by strangling him and throwing sand in his mouth to prevent him from breathing.
This allegedly happened on December 28, 2012. The partly burned body of Kazeurua was found in an aardvark burrow on January 7, after he was reported missing days earlier.
Defense counsel Advocate Slysken Makando informed the court that his client has fallen on hard times and wants to be released on bail to work in order to pay his legal fees.
State Advocate Dominic Lisulo objected to granting bail, saying there is still a real possibility that Kavejao could abscond if granted bail and that the State’s case is not finished as yet.
He said if Kavejao feels there is no prima facie case against him he is free to apply for a Section 174 discharge at the end of the State’s case. A Section 174 refers to an instance when an accused may apply for acquittal on the grounds of insufficient evidence against him.
Makando on the other said it would be an injustice for Kavejao to spend any more time in jail awaiting the completion of the trial only to be acquitted in the end.
Judge Alfred Siboleka, who is hearing the application, warned Makando that even if he were inclined to grant bail it would not be a walk in the park.
“The conditions that will be attached will make it seem as if he is still behind bars and I doubt he will be able to work or do any business” the judge warned.
Makando assured the judge that they would adhere to all the conditions stipulated by the court should the court be inclined in their favour. Judge Siboleka then indicated he would be ready with his ruling by July 15 – three days before the main trail is set to resume.
The case was previously postponed to July 18 and will continue until July 29. Kavejao, Kakururume and Kaporo remain in custody while Kamutjemo is out on bail.