Crucial witnesses in Rameez Patel case disappear

Crucial witnesses in Rameez Patel case disappear

Two state witnesses crucial to the murder trial of Polokwane businessman Rameez Patel have disappeared, the Polokwane Magistrates Court heard.

Rameez Patel_gallo
File photo: Gallo Images

Patel was expected to stand trial from Monday for the murder of his wife Fatima in April 2015, but the State asked for a postponement due to the disappearance of two of its witnesses.

The two witnesses, both Zimbabwean nationals, opted out of the State's witness protection programme.

Prosecutor Mashudu Mudau said one witness was believed to be in Zimbabwe while the other, who was Patel's helper, was believed to be in Namibia with her boyfriend.

The state said there was a team trying to trace the two witnesses.

Patel was arrested after Fatima was found dead in the couple's Nirvana home. Fatima had marks indicating strangulation and had a gunshot wound to the head.

Judge Frans Kgomo postponed the trial to 1 August 2016.

Edited by Suné du Toit

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