No bail for man shot from wheelchair

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A suspected would-be robber shot in the buttocks by a man in a wheelchair was remanded in custody by the East London Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

UNCOMFORTABLE: Robbery accused Phumezo Ngqina in the dock

An ailing Phumezo Ngqina, 44, was told by the magistrate he could not apply for bail because the police officer investigating the robbery case was off sick.

The unidentified policeman was due to give evidence on behalf of the state, which is opposing bail.

Ngqina was further told he could not apply for bail today as his attorney Mawande Njenge would be in another court outside East London. He was told he could only formally apply for bail tomorrow.

Ngqina is facing one count of robbery, but the state hinted at the possibility of more charges after he was allegedly found in possession of Sassa bank cards.

He was shot last Thursday while allegedly trying to rob a man in a wheelchair at an ATM in the Balfour Park shopping complex in Vincent. He is receiving medical treatment while in custody.

lFour men accused of conspiring to poach a rhino in the Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve last week will make a formal bail application next Thursday.

A fifth man, Simon Fakude, has turned state witness. He will testify against the accused – including his brother Christopher Fakude – as well as Ernest Mdluli, Mlungisi Lekhuleni and Ntobeko Kumkani.

The case could not be heard yesterday because the court still has to appoint a Swati interpreter for Fakude, Mdluli and Lekhuleni.

Legal Aid SA has also been tasked with appointing a private attorney for the three. Kumkani, who is from King William’s Town, is the only one being represented by Legal Aid because he claimed he did not know beforehand he was being recruited to poach a rhino when he was hired to drive the men to the scene in his taxi.

His vehicle has been confiscated by members of the East London K9 dog unit.

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