Sunday, 23 May 2010

Baby Marzanne returns home - blind

May 21 2010 at 07:17AM
By Botho Molosankwe

Baby Marzanne Kruger has been discharged from hospital, but is still unable to see.

The one-year-old was discharged yesterday from the Sandton Medi-Clinic, where she had been for a month after she and her nanny were battered by robbers.

Family spokesman Kobus Grobler said the baby was making progress, but it was not yet known whether her inability to see was permanent.

"She is home and showing small progress," Grobler said.

The family's lawyer, Pieter Coetzee, declined to comment on Marzanne's condition, but said the family would release a statement today.

Yesterday, the relatives of two Mozambican men accused of severely assaulting Marzanne and her nanny left the court in tears after one of them was refused bail.

Huddled against the wall crying, his family refused to speak to the media and hurriedly left the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, upset that Nelson Maphosa had not been granted bail.

Maphosa and Geraldt Nyantumbo face charges of attempted murder and robbery with aggravated circumstances.

Nyantumbo abandoned his bail application a week ago, but Maphosa went ahead and applied for bail, saying he had nothing to do with the crime.

In refusing to grant Maphosa bail, magistrate Stanley Mkhari said he took into consideration the degree of violence directed at Marzanne and her minder, Franscina Sekhu, before the robbery was committed.

He described how the baby's mother arrived home to find a pool of blood in the lounge, Sekhu against the wall bleeding and her face swollen, and Marzanne lying face down in the kitchen.

"In committing the robbery, I don't understand why the baby was assaulted to that extent," Mkhari said. He found that granting bail to Maphosa would "undermine or jeopardise the public's trust in the criminal justice system".

Another suspect, Chakoma Machaba, is on the run and believed to be in his home country, Mozambique.

Although Maphosa is Mozambican, a copy of his ID book stating that he was born in South Africa was presented to court as evidence.

Mkhari questioned its validity, as investigations showed that it was issued in 2007, and not in 2002, in Mpumalanga, where Maphosa claims he got it.

"It was also not clarified by him how he entered the country.

"He has no emotional, family or occupational ties to this place where the trial is taking place. He is from Maputo."

The matter has been postponed to June 18 for further investigation.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Star on May 21, 2010


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