Zarah murder trial is delayed



July 28, 2016
Zarah murder trial is delayed

APPEAR: Ronaldo van Rooyen in Blue Downs court. CREDIT: Ayanda Ndamane

State requests postponement to summarise its indictment.

One of the two men accused of bludgeoning Kuils River mom Zarah-Jane Hector to death made a brief appearance in the Blue Downs Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The State asked for a postponement as it had to summarise its indictment before the matter could be moved to trial at the Cape High Court.

Zarah, 33, was hit over the head with an axe five times on 15 March and was missing for 10 days before her body was found on a farm in the Klein Drakenstein.

Tawfeeq Ebrahim, 26, and Ronaldo van Rooyen, 34, were arrested for her murder.

Both knew the victim, who used to visit Van Rooyen at his house.

KILLED: Zarah-Jane Hector

The suspects were to appear via Audio Visual Remand (AVR) transmission from Pollsmoor Prison, but Ronaldo, who appeared to have lost weight, arrived at court to appear for an unrelated charge of armed robbery.

State prosecutor Nathan Adriaanse said he would need time to complete the summary for the indictment.

When Ebrahim’s attorney Patrick Vezasie objected, Adriaanse explained: “We have a mass of documentation to summarise as well as the forensic evidence that goes with it. This process needs time which will not be wasted.”

His request to have both suspects in court at their next appearance on 21 September was refused.

“The AVR system is adequate, they do not need to be in court when the indictment is presented,” said the Magistrate.

Outside court, Zarah’s brother Brendan Hector, resolved himself to the two-month wait and expressed confidence in the prosecutor.

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