State has weak case, no evidence against Miguel Louw kidnapper, says magistrate
DURBAN – Magistrate Mohamed Motala have granted R2500 bail to Mohammed Vahed Ebrahim, 43, accused of kidnapping Miguel Louw, he told the court he found the State had a weak case and had found no compelling evidence to keep the accused behind bars.
After the alleged kidnapper was granted bail, the missing schoolboy’s father slammed the accused with his jacket as he descended to the holding cells at the Durban Magistrates Court.
As the accused descended into the holding cells at the court, family and friends in the gallery were leaving court, grumbling, but Miguel’s father Kirk, could be seen watching Ebrahim while rolling up his jacket. He then hurriedly leaned over the court benches and struck Ebrahim with a jacket, before police reprimanded the father, as Motala watched on in disbelief.
It was one of several heated moments in the courtroom on Wednesday, as family members who were seated in the gallery disrupted proceedings by shouting during the bail hearing.
Magistrate Motala threw one person out of the courtroom at one point and scolded: “ What does this say about our society? About our law abiding people?”
An enraged Raylene Louw, Miguel’s mother, stormed out the courtroom and shouted: “He took my child! I’ll meet him outside.”
Just as Raylene left the courtroom, another person in the gallery who was accompanying the mother shouted at the magistrate: “You should see the video footage”.
Ebrahim, 43, stands accused of kidnapping the Sydenham schoolboy and stealing his identity documents including a birth certificate. He was granted R2500 bail with strict bail condition that he report to the Phoenix SAPs three times a week. He is also restricted from visiting the Sydenham area unless accompanied by a police officer, the court heard.
The video footage the Louw family was referring to was from inside a Sydenham KFC, where Ebrahim was seen with the Miguel. He has admitted he was with Miguel on the day.
Ebrahim’s defence attorney, Chris Gounden, said: “My client has made the admission that he was at the home of the child, where he had stayed the night before. He then went to the school where he saw the child. The pair went to a KFC shop. My client then went across the road to a taxi which he bordered alone.”
According to Gounden, Ebrahim saw the identity documents in Louw’s house and kept them for safekeeping.
Motala questioned the state for proof that Ebrahim bordered the taxi with Miguel but prosecutor Calvin Govender said cameras in the vicinity did not show where Ebrahim bordered the taxi.
The state is currently pressing on why Ebrahim did not inform anyone of his whereabouts for three days since Miguel’s kidnapping.
Ebrahim was arrested on July 20 in the Durban CBD. He said he did not have money to board a taxi to return to his Phoenix home.
According to the state, Ebrahim lives in a dilapidated wendyhouse on the premises of his parents home.
He is estranged from his family, unmarried and without children.
“We sympathize with the family. But by focusing on the wrong person, the real perpetrator might get away with it,” he said in court earlier.
At this point, Miguel’s grandmother, Arlene Paul, stormed out of court shouting: “I’d rather walk away than to hear a lawyer lie so much in Jesus name, Amen Lord.”
On granting Ebrahim bail, Motala reminded the gallery of the laws of the country, and the reason for legal procedures.
Ebrahim will appear in court on October 17.