Cape Town – The 18-year-old nephew of Western Cape magistrate, Romay van Rooyen, who is also the accused in her murder case, reportedly abandoned his bail application during his second court appearance at the Simon’s Town Magistrates Court, reports said.
Cassidy Hartzenberg was reportedly arrested at this home in Mitchells Plain where the deceased’s vehicle was later discovered following an investigation by the Hawks.
Hartzenberg who faced two counts of murder and theft allegedly cried as he stood alone in the dock on Thursday, IOL reported.
The report said that Hartzenberg met Van Rooyen at her home where he strangled her to death following an argument and then stole an undisclosed amount of money and her vehicle.
Although the National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila could not confirm whether or not the motive for the attack was related to an alleged drug problem, he revealed that witnesses had been identified.
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He said that they planned to oppose bail, as they believed the accused knew the witnesses and may interfere or threaten them, the report said.
“He has a case to answer. We have a process in place where we go through the evidence and decide which person needs to be charged. There is evidence against him, at this stage evidence only leads to him and nobody else,” the report quoted Ntabazalila.
This was after police minister, Bheki Cele, who attended the accused first court appearance on September 29, revealed that Van Rooyen died of a lack of oxygen and that the Hawks had more than prima facie case against the accused though investigations are ongoing, News24 reported.
“We believe that we have a very strong case,” the report quoted Cele as saying.
Van Rooyen was found dead in her bedroom at her house in Red Roman Street, Marina da Gama on Saturday, September 10.
Her funeral was held at Lentegeur New Apostolic church in Mitchells Plain and according to News24, the teenager was allegedly among the mourners present.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe