A Rocklands mother wants to know why a man accused of stabbing her teenage son with a dagger was released on R300 bail.
ValentinoKleinsmith,23, charged with the murder of his neighbour Abdul Baaqi Fagodien, 15, appeared in Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday November 15. His bail conditions stipulate that he is not allowed in Mitchell’s Plain and must stay with family in Kalksteenfontein.
Around midnight on Saturday November 4, the teen was stabbed above the heart and the knife pulled downward.
His mother Rugaya Fagodien said a petition, including 300 signatures and two letters from neighbours, opposing bail had been submitted to the prosecutor (“Man in court for teen’s fatal stabbing”, Plainsman, November 15).
During a phone call to the Plainsman minutes after Mr Kleinsmith was released on bail, she asked: “What is my son’s life worth?”
Ms Fagodien said the magistrate had released the accused because he was a first-time offender. And a close family friend said the petition was possibly not valid because it had not been stamped by a commissioner of oaths.
The Plainsman has copies of the letters opposing bail, one of which states that the accused had stabbed the letter writer who wants to remain anonymous because he fears for his safety. The man, however, said he had not reported the incident, but had chosen to leave it “in the Lord’s hands”.
The Plainsman sent media enquiries to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Western Cape regional spokesman Eric Ntabazalila, who replied with a PowerPoint presentation on the purposes of bail and how it is determined.
Among others, the presentation noted that the purpose of bail was to ensure the accused attended court rather than to punish him for the crime; that the court decides whether the accused is guilty; and that the magistrate decides on bail, not the prosecutor.
According to the presentation, “bail conditions may at any stage be added – including reporting to the investigating officer; not going to specific areas; no communication with witnesses; a place to serve documents; supervision of probation on correctional officer; and a warrant of arrest can be issued once the accused transgresses the bail conditions”.
Mr Kleinsmith is due back in court on Tuesday February 27 next year.