Suspect in court over DA councillor’s murder

A 29-year-old man has appeared in court in connection with the murder of a Democratic Alliance councillor‚ Johannes Baatjies‚ who was gunned down last week in the Northern Cape.

The suspect appeared at the Postmasburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

He is also facing a charge of attempted murder relating to Baatjies’ business partner‚ who was wounded in the attack.

The case was postponed to August 29‚ for a bail application.

“Further investigation continues while the suspect remains in custody‚” Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

Before his death Baatjies and another DA councillor‚ as well as two Kgatelopele Community Forum councillors‚ were to form a coalition and take control of the Kgatelopele municipality from the African National Congress. He was to have been officially sworn in on Thursday.

“He was a well-known person and a spiritual leader in the community of Danielskuil. When you spoke about Baatjies everybody knew him‚” Northern Cape DA leader Andrew Louw told TMG Digital.

“And it was not by default‚ but purely by design‚ that he won a ward that was staunch ANC for many years; that he won it away from them on the 3rd of August… we won that ward under the leadership of Baatjies.”

Baatjies was found lying on his face on the main road between Danielskuil and Postmasburg on Wednesday evening. He had been shot twice in the head and once in the upper body‚ and dragged a distance before being dumped.

Baatjies is survived by his wife Dora and three sons.

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