“If you know anything about the whereabouts of this child‚ please‚ please‚ I am appealing to you for your own sake and the sake of those affected to tell authorities“.
This was the plea from Durban magistrate Mohamed Motala to a 43-year old man accused of child trafficking in connection with the disappearance of 9-year old Sydenham boy Miguel Louw.
The child was last seen outside his school on July 17.
Emotions ran high at the Durban Magistrate’s court on Wednesday when the man — who may not be named or identified — appeared in connection with Louw’s disappearance.
The child’s distraught mother‚ Raylene‚ spat on him before begging him to tell her where her child was being held.
His grandmother‚ Arlene Paul‚ shouted “Kill him“‚ while others in the packed gallery demanded answers from him about the child’s whereabouts.
During court proceedings‚ the state got a lashing from Motala when they requested a postponement of the matter.
“The way it seems to me is that the state is hoping against hope that something will present itself against this accused. It hasn’t happened in the last two weeks so why will it happen now? “
Motala asked the prosecution why they thought it was right to charge the accused and then try to get evidence against him.
In response‚ prosecutor Patrick Magoda said that a new team of investigators had taken over but Motala didn’t accept that‚ saying that he was informed at the last court appearance that a team from Organised Crime had taken over. He wanted to know what had they been doing from then to now.
When Magoda replied that the new team had only started working on Monday night‚ Motala said he reserved comment.
Throughout the appearance‚ the accused kept shaking his head‚ muttering “this is not right“.
He told Motala that he had been assaulted when police had come to remove him from the holding cells at the police station where he was being held.
Motala reminded the prosecution that the accused had rights and that these had to be taken into account‚ particularly in a schedule one offence.
He ordered that the man be transferred to Westville prison and remanded the matter to August 29.
The accused’s lawyer‚ Kerusha Ariyan‚ said her client would apply for bail via affidavit.
Outside court‚ the boy’s father‚ Kirk Louw‚ said that the accused was emotionless.
“He has no feelings and no heart at all. He is just ice cold.”
The community supporting the family hope that the accused gets bail so that he can lead police to the location of the boy.
Nivashni Nair – TimesLIVE