One of the two cops accused in the killing of Hanover Park dad Marlon Fuller will remain in the mang while the other was set free on bail on Monday.
Constables Eugene Jones and Johan van der Merwe made their first appearance at the Athlone Magistrates’ Court, where family and friends of the deceased protested outside calling for bail to be denied.
The officers, with two decades of service under their belt, were busted on Friday following an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) probe into the shooting of the security guard.
The magistrate explained that only one of the cops would be facing a murder charge.
Jones was charged with defeating the ends of justice and was granted R800 bail while Van der Merwe, who is the alleged shooter, was denied bail.
He faces charges of murder, discharge of a firearm and possession of ammunition.
He will remain behind bars until next Monday, when he is due to appear in court for a bail information hearing and a possible bail application.
Van der Merwe’s lawyer pleaded with the court to release his client on bail to keep him out the tronk.
The magistrate relented and said if the necessary arrangements are made, he may be kept at police holding cells instead of being sent to Pollsmoor Prison.
On the night of Saturday, 5 December, armed response officer Marlon, 38, had gone out to tell his two daughters, who were at a party near their home, that it was late and they needed to come home.
The teens were at the playground at Cascade Court at about midnight just a few metres from their home.
At that moment, cops arrived and ordered residents to lie on the ground.
It is still not clear what led to shots being fired, but Marlon was hit.
On Monday, widow Sharon Fuller said she was angry that Jones had been granted bail.
“The court was quick to grant him bail, they should have kept them both inside and now they are even considering doing the other cop a favour by not sending him to jail. Why, when he murdered the father of my children?”
The emotional mom of three cried uncontrollably outside court before and after proceedings.
“I am angry and heartbroken too. Marlon used to wake up around 5am and the kids would assist him while he prepares for work.
“Now, every morning we are met with silence. My kids are struggling to sleep following his death,” a hartseer Sharon said.
Mary Claasen from the Moms Move for Justice organisation vowed to support the family.
“This (the case) will be a long and hurtful journey for your family,” she said to Sharon.
“But I will support you till the end.”
Claasen said the organisation submitted a petition asking for Van der Merwe to remain behind bars. They also want the other four cops who were present on the day of the shooting to be charged.