While alleged baby snatcher Karabo Tau waits to hear her fate on her bail application at the Bellville Magistrates Court, her co-accused Ely Kibunda's kidnapping case was dropped.
Kibunda, 22, made his third appearance on Tuesday after he was arrested on January 23. Kibunda, a foreign national from the Democratic Republic of Congo, was facing a count of kidnapping.
The magistrate dropped the charge on the grounds that no evidence connected him to the accused, Tau.
Coming out of court, an ecstatic Kibunda said he had no hope that "I would be set free even though I knew I was innocent".
"I feel very happy because I was innocent from the beginning and these people took my freedom. I have many concerts coming up and I was worried about how I will perform while being in custody for something I didn't know about," he said.
"What matters now is that I have my freedom back and I am grateful for that," Kibunda said.
Kibunda's lawyer Leon Fieties said his client was only arrested because he allegedly knew the accused.
"There was no proof that the accused gave the baby to my client or that he knows her," he said.
On Tuesday, while the matric student appeared in court for her bail application, outside court families and friends of the accused and mother of 2-month-old Kwahlelwa Tiwane were fighting.
Whips, hammers and glass bottles could be seen as the two groups faced-off. In court, load shedding once again delayed bail application proceedings of the alleged baby snatcher.
The State made its final arguments, opposing her bail.
State prosecutor Matrose Tobinceba during his argument said the State was considering changing Tau’s kidnapping charges to human trafficking charges. He said should the accused be granted bail, it would not only put her life in danger but also jeopardise the chances of finding the baby alive.
“Her safety is not guaranteed because people are angry as the child has not been found,” he said, adding that she would attempt to influence and intimidate witnesses.
Matrose said the accused took advantage of the complainant as she noticed that she was poor and desperate. Matrose dismissed the defence’s evidence as “fabricated”.
Last week the school’s IT manager and Tau’s Xhosa teacher took to the stand, corroborating the defence's claims that Tau was actually at school at the time of the kidnapping.
Video footage, ahead by 20 minutes, which showed Tau at school at the time of the baby being abducted was shown at the court last week which Matrose said was “wrong in totality”.