A Bulawayo High Court judge has thrown out suspected “serial killer” Rodney Jindu’s application for bail pending trial saying there was a real danger that he could commit more offences.
Justice Nicholas Mathonsi said it would be irresponsible for the court to “unleash” Jindu on a society that is “trembling” considering the allegations against him.
Jindu, (26) made an application for bail stating that he wanted to be freed so that he could raise money to hire a strong defence team for his case.
In a judgment handed down yesterday, Justice Mathonsi said since Jindu’s arrest there have not been reports cases of a similar cases and that speaks volumes on its own.
“Against that backdrop the applicant firmly refused to be drawn to explaining himself insisting that the merits of the charges are irrelevant to this application.
“If there is a real possibility or danger that the administration of justice will be prejudiced if the accused person is admitted to bail or there is real danger that the accused person may commit more offences then the court must refuse bail,” ruled Justice Mathonsi.
He said public perception should also be taken into account in this case.
While associating myself fully with those sentiments, I must add that a court of law cannot afford to insulate itself against public opinion on a matter which it is dealing with.
“Indeed the public perception is an important factor to be taken into account when considering bail and the court should always be slow to grant bail to an accused person if it may trigger a public outcry. This is done to safeguard the interests of the justice delivery system,” said Justice Mathonsi.
He said Jindu’s case had captured the imagination of the public since it burst into the public domain and the evidence which the State has shown is overwhelming.
“The exhumation of the bodies at the instance of the applicant is a matter of public record. The whole episode has raised fears among the locals that they are not safe. Against that background, all the applicant can say is that he has a constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Regrettably, that is not enough in the circumstances. It would be the height of irresponsibility to unleash him to a society that is trembling following the revelation of the allegations levelled against him,” ruled the High Court judge.
Justice Mathonsi said Jindu had shown that he was a flight risk as he had attempted to flee from police custody and attempted to influence witnesses as well as interfering with evidence.
“As I have said I am not persuaded by his denial which is hollow. Therefore he has a clear affinity for abscondment. This then leads to the inevitable conclusion that the applicant is not a good candidate for bail at all. Accordingly, and for all the foregoing reasons, the application for bail pending trial is hereby dismissed,” ruled Justice Mathonsi.
Jindu is facing two counts of killing his neighbour Mboneli Joko Ncube (30) and childhood friend Cyprian Kudzurunga (28).
He was arrested on February 3 for allegedly killing Kudzurunga of Queens Park East and further investigations linked him to the death of Ncube on January 29