The men accused of shooting dead six-year-old Saadiqa Lippert now face a second charge.
Nearly two months after the little girl was shot in her stomach in her grandmother’s driveway, the court is finally ready to proceed with the suspects’ bail application.
But proceedings were interrupted yesterday after it emerged that Shamier Slamang and Waylan Botha were busted with drugs in the cells at the Athlone Magistrates’ Court.
It’s alleged that cleaners at the court helped the pair smokkel a “substantial amount” of tik into the cells.
Police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk confirmed the incident.
“An additional charge may be added after the accused were found in possession of drugs,” Van Wyk says.
“Our members are still consulting with the magistrate because other service providers were also involved.”
Before the interruption, the investigating officer told the court that a drug-related argument led to the fatal shooting of Saadiqa.
After the bekgeveg, Slamang allegedly threatened “to come back and shoot”.
Saadiqa was shot on May 2, between 6.30 and 7pm, at her granny’s home in Ninth Avenue, Bokmakierie.
In their statements, read out by their attorney Leon van der Merwe, the accused said they had no previous convictions, were not a flight risk and would not interfere with witnesses.
Their families also depended on them financially and they feared their “health will deteriorate” if they are not released.
Slamang and Botha said they intend to plead not guilty.
Van der Merwe also handed the court an 8-page petition with 360 signatures, from residents supporting their release on bail.
The state then handed in a petition asking for bail to be denied.
Stand-in investigating officer Constable Daniel Solomons said the murder weapons were still missing.
“Both firearms, a 9mm pistol and a .38 revolver, are still outstanding,” he added.
He said Botha belonged to the G-Unit gang and “over the years (Slamang) belonged to three different gangs” but could not confirm which gang Slamang currently belonged to.
Contrary to their statements, Solomons said both had previous convictions on drug charges.
Saadiqa’s mother, Chimeiz France, claimed Slamang intimidated a group of protesters outside the court.
“As they were driving in he swore at us and said ‘julle gaan sien’,” she says.
The matter was postponed to July 12.