Few people were allowed in court on Thursday morning when the two young men, accused of killing six year old Sideeqa Lippert in a gang cross fire shooting, appeared in the Athlone Magistrates court on charges of murder. The court was cleared as a result of death threats placed on the accused after they were identified and subsequently arrested for the murder of the grade one pupil who was shot in the stomach this past Monday and later died in Groote Schuur hospital as a result of her injuries.
Due to threats being received by the South African Police Service, the court decided that only the two parents of the deceased, the media and the community policing forum were able to stay in the room.
Hanif Loonat, the cluster chairperson for the Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum, who was in the courtroom this morning, said it was a very short process in which the two appeared and were told of the charges brought against them and then remanded into custody in Pollsmoor Prison.
Pictures were not allowed to be taken of the accused as an identification process is still underway.
The two accused will appear again next week Thursday in court where a bail application will be brought forward to the judge.
Outside of the courtroom members of the public gathered with placards and were chanting that bail should not be afforded to the accused because according to Loonat the public believes that they have had enough of these murders.
“Kids between the ages of five and 14 were visible outside the court protesting that these individuals should not be given bail,” added Loonat.
“Protesting is an acceptable manner with which we can show our discontent; this will be a remainder to the court that people have had enough and they want the court to carry out the expected processes that will keep these guys in prison so that they won’t become repeat offenders.”