The five men accused of the killing of the Coka brothers on a Mpumalanga farm have been granted bail of R10 000 each.
Othard Klingberg, Daniel Malan, Cornelius Greyling, Michael Sternberg and Senzele Yende appeared in the Piet Retief Magistrate’s court this morning [Friday, 30 April 2021], where their bail hearing was held.
The men stand accused of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
The court also heard that Yende played a role in holding a friend of the Coka brothers captive. It is believed that tensions are high in the town of Mokhondo following the killing of brothers Zenzele and Mgcini Coka.
On 20 April, police resorted to the use of stun grenades to disperse protestors who tried to access the Magistrate’s Court when the accused appeared.
The defence had previously urged the court to release the suspects on bail as there were suspicions that the state witnesses had lied in their police statements. The defence also made the claim that the suspects and another farmer were assaulted shortly before the incident leading to the death of Coka brothers transpired.
The Coka brothers were allegedly shot during an altercation in Mkhondo earlier this month after an argument broke out between seasonal farm workers looking for harvest season work from farmers.
It is also believed that one of the brothers was on the farm to rescue someone who was allegedly held captive.
Farmers’ group relieved
Meanwhile Mpumalanga Agriculture has expressed relief at the news that the five suspects had been granted bail.
“We would like to thank the South African Police Service (SAPS) for maintaining law and order outside the court proceedings in Piet Retief (Mkhondo),” the organisation says via a media statement. “Mpumalanga Agriculture asks for a full investigation to ensure that correct law procedures were adhered to after the incident on 9 April.”
Mpumalanga Agriculture is reportedly working with other organisations to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.