Netizen 24 ZAF: Suspect who dragged dead body with car in court

Posted by On 3:36 AM

Suspect who dragged dead body with car in court

Suspect who dragged dead body with car in court

by Luqman Cloete

Thomas Pietersen

A 32-year-old farm worker accused of beating his victim to death, and then dragging his dead body behind a vehicle with a rope, appeared on a murder charge in the Keetmanshoop Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Thomas Pietersen, who was not asked to plead, has also been indicted on charges of violating a dead body, motor vehicle theft, and defeating the ends of justice.
His case was remanded until 11 January for further police investigations, and to allow him to apply for legal aid.
State prosecutor Yvonne McLeod yesterday opposed the granting of bail to Pietersen.
She argued that the offences committed by the susp ect were serious, and that the investigation into the murder was still at a “sensitive stage”.
“Police still have to take affidavits from crucial state witnesses,” she submitted, adding that the state also fears that Pietersen might interfere with witnesses.
McLeod noted that it would not be in the interest of the public and the administration of justice to release the suspect on bail.
Magistrate Melissa Mugunda advised the suspect to lodge a formal bail application.
It is alleged that the suspect last Friday attacked the deceased, identified as Josef Oliphant (44) in his own house at Tses village near Keetmans­hoop with a hammer, causing his death.
The fight between the two allegedly ensued over money the deceased was owing the suspect.
He then tied the deceased to the back of his vehicle, a Corolla sedan, and dragged the latter behind the car for about 2 kilometres to an open space in the veld near farm Rou Plaas, where he had hidden the dead body.
The suspect, who was employed as a livestock herder at farm Rou Plaas, was allegedly seen on Saturday driving around in the vehicle of the deceased he had allegedly murdered.
The suspect then abandoned the said vehicle along the B1 road near Tses when it experienced a breakdown while he was driving with his girlfriend and children to Mariental.
It is suspected that the suspect returned to farm Rou Plaas on foot, while his girlfriend and the children hitch-hiked to Mariental following the car breakdown.
Another livestock herder then spotted Oliphant's body on Sunday and allegedly alerted the suspect, who was at that time in the vicinity where the second herder had made the gruesome discovery.
Pietersen then allegedly dragged the dead body from there, and dumped it in the Fish River before covering it with stones, after the livestock herder, who made the grisly discovery, left the scene to alert other people living at the farm.
Police arrested the suspect on Sunday after they had followed the trail of tracks left by the vehicle up to his house.
Police sources indicated that Pietersen, after his arrest, confessed that he had murdered Oliphant, who was a suspected drug dealer, over money he had owed Pietersen.

Source: Google News

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