Cape Town student in court for attempted murder

African News Agency

Cape Town student in court for attempted murder

A young student, attached to the Bellville campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, has to spend a week in custody for his alleged involvement in two blazes at the campus on Wednesday night.

Byron Dick was remanded for a week when he appeared in the Bellville District Court on Thursday, before magistrate Ronald Rieckerts.

The charge sheet gave his address as Freedom Square 1, CPUT campus, Bellville.

He faces four charges – attempted murder, public violence, arson and contravening a Western Cape High Court interdict, granted during last year’s student unrest.

The case was called shortly before the lunch hour, when Dick was escorted from the holding cells at the court into a packed courtroom.

Television cameramen waited at the ready on either side of the prisoner’s dock, to record Dick’s entry into it.

Dick, sporting a “bun” hairdo, seated himself the moment he stepped into the dock – only to be ordered back onto his feet by a stern court orderly, until informed by the magistrate that he could be seated.

The State was represented by Regional Court prosecutor, Stefaans Venter, instead of the usual district court prosecutor – an indication that the case is eventually to be referred to the Bellville Regional Court for trial.

The prosecutor said a one-week remand was required, to enable investigators to probe Dick’s background for a comprehensive profile.

The profile would enable the State to decide whether to oppose Dick’s release on bail, or to fix a bail amount in agreement with the defence team, advocate Carlos Langeveldt and attorney David Sauls.

The profile needed to determine whether Dick was in fact a student at the university and, if so, what he was studying, and how far he had progressed, the prosecutor told the court.

He assured the court that he would have all the needed information when Dick next appears.

On the attempted murder charge, Dick is alleged to have set the campus security office alight with a petrol bomb, and to have locked two security guards in the burning office.

The guards were reportedly rescued in time, and rushed to hospital, where one of them is reportedly in a critical condition.

The public violence charge accuses Dick of petrol bombing first the university’s administration building itself, and then the security office.

On the arson charge, he is alleged to have set the two buildings alight.

The final charge alleges that he ignored a High Court order that banned anyone doing anything illegal on the campus – issued after an urgent application last year to curb student unrest.

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SOURCEAfrican News Agency