Charges dropped against rock-throwing accused

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Charges dropped against rock-throwing accused

Phoenix Durban

The charges against three men, who were allegedly involved in a rock-throwing incident in December 2017 that led to the death of two siblings, were withdrawn on Friday.
The men, 46-year-old mechanic, Selvan Govender, his 27-year-old son, Nathan Govender, and 20-year-old employee, Qiniso Bhekithemba Gumbi, were accused of killing Amina Haffajee (16) and Abdul Rahim (7), who died after a rock was thrown onto the car they were traveling in from the N2 bridge near Tongaat on December 29, 2017.
The young siblings died while being transported to hospital.
ALSO READ: Accused appear in court for fatal N2 rock-throwing incident
Information given in court on their appearance on September 26 alleged that the three men threw a rock over the bridge onto the vehicle.
The state said there were five witnesses that will be subpoenaed in court to testify.

Det Ivan Padayachee of the Organised Crime Unit confirmed that that the state witnesses were among the minors that had been taken in by the police for questioning after they were allegedly found near the bridge where the incident occurred.
Charges against the three men were withdrawn on Friday after it emerged witnesses had made false statements.
The men’s attorney, Rajendra Nathalal, said, “While we accept this decision with mixed feelings, those endless months and days in custody can never be erased. The criminal justice system has failed them.”
During their bail application, the court heard that Selvan lived with his wife and children on a farm in Tongaat.
Gumbi’s statement revealed that he was an assistant at Selvan’s Motor Mechanic business and had previous convictions relating to dangerous weapons.
The dangers of stone-throwing are a constant problem for the communities of Phoenix, Verulam and Tongaat.
ALSO READ: Police create awareness on rock throwing incidents
Two incidents of rock-throwing were reported to a local security company on Friday.
Along the R102 in Verulam, security officers were called to the area after school children hurled stones at passing vehicles and fled the scene.
A second incident was reported to the operations centre in Phoenix of a rock being thrown at a passing vehicle on the R102, southbound lane near Cornubia.
No damages or injuries were reported. Motorists are being warned to be on alert when passing under bridges.
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