Gangster found guilty of woman’s murder

Granwill Bailey in the Port Elizabeth High Court
SENTENCING PENDING: Granwill Bailey in the Port Elizabeth High Court
Image: Werner Hills

A gangster who tried to convince the Port Elizabeth High Court his tattoo,  usually associated with the Hondekoppe gang, was in homage to his favourite basketball player was convicted on a charge of murder on Friday.

Last week, Granwill Bailey, 24, of Bethelsdorp, told the court the tattoo on his left arm depicting the letters NBA was to show his admiration for National Basketball Association icon Michael Jordan.

This claim was shot down by investigating officer Sergeant Xolani Peta, who said the letters NBA stood for Never Broke Again which was a trademark of the Hondekoppe gang which operates in Nelson Mandela Bay’s northern areas.

On Friday, acting judge Avinash Govindjee convicted Bailey on one count of murder, one of attempted murder and one count each for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Govindjee found that Bailey’s version of events leading to the murder of Mirlene Wilson, 26, on January 5 could not be reasonably possible and that he was member of a gang.

Bailey was acquitted on two charges of attempted murder.

Govindjee found that the testimony of state witnesses had been reliable and that they had been credible.

Wilson was shot dead while walking to her home near Human Street, Arcadia.

At the time, Bailey was involved an altercation with another man, who testified in court but cannot be named for his own safety.

According to the state, while embroiled in the altercation Bailey produced a gun and fired a shot which hit Wilson.

She died on the scene.

Sentencing proceedings are expected to begin on Tuesday.

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