Terror-stricken Ethiopian nationals march to Komani court

CALLING FOR JUSTICE: Some of the members of the Ethiopian community who marched to the Queenstown magistrate’s court earlier today seeking justice after a string of armed robberies and abductions Picture: LUVUYO MJEKULA

Fearing for their lives, scores of Ethiopian nationals protested outside the Queenstown magistrate’s court earlier today as three men – two Ethiopians and a South African – appeared on business robbery charges.

The business owners wanted the court to refuse bail to the three men charged with robbing an Ethiopian national’s business at gun point in Lesseyton last week. The protestors alleged that the three attempted to kidnap a shop assistant during the incident.

The group submitted a petition to the court requesting the magistrate “not to grant bail to these people involved in robberies, especially the three recently arrested for robbing at Lesseyton and nearly kidnapping the shop assistant by pulling him [behind a] Citi Golf”.

They also called for justice for a fellow businessman they fear could be dead after he was allegedly kidnapped near Cacadu six months ago. He is still missing.



STILL MISSING: The protestors want law enforcement to help trace their fellow Ethiopian businessman who went missing near Cacadu about six months ago Picture: LUVUYO MJEKULA

“We, the community of Ethiopia wish to state that we are tired of criminal activities happening in our businesses and residential places. These people are terrorising our businesses in and around Komani, Mlungisi, Cofimvaba, Cadadu (formerly Lady Frere), Cala, Molteno, Burgersdorp and Whittlesea by robbing our businesses with firearms,” the petition read.

The three appeared briefly in court with local attorney Zolile Matiwane confirming appearance for the two Ethiopians while the South African teenager would apply for a state lawyer from Legal Aid South Africa.

The case was postponed until Monday (June 20) for a formal bail application.

The three remain in custody.