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Bay doctor's ex-wife in anxious wait for appeal outcome


A Gqeberha woman, alleged to have hatched an elaborate plot to kill her ex-husband, will have to wait a while longer to find out if her appeal in the city's high court, against a Magistrate's refusal to grant her bail, was successful.

Ethel Noqekwa, who has been charged with the murder of doctor Bantu Noqekwa, lodged an appeal in the Gqeberha High Court after she was refused bail in the New Brighton Magistrate's Court in July.

Doctor Noqekwa was shot execution-style at his surgery in Zwide, in May.

Her attorney, Bongo Mvinjelwa brought the appeal contending that the Magistrate failed to consider her minor child's interests and that he erred in finding that she was a flight risk, and could interfere with state witnesses, one of whom is her eldest son. 

In the appellant's opinion, the Magistrate erred in holding that in schedule 6 bail applications, the appellant is expected to show that there are chances of an acquittal when the case goes to trial.

They further said that the Magistrate failed to take into account that Ethel has no criminal record or pending cases, and he attached virtually no significance to the appellant's liberty, her personal circumstances, or the hardship caused to her family due to her continued detention.

State advocate Vuyani Vaveki said Ethel's minor child was well taken care of by relatives.

He said before her arrest, she had taken the minor to East London during the exams, without informing the school.

With regards to Ethel being a flight risk, Vaveki said she switched off her phone and left without a trace, prompting police to conclude that she was trying to evade them.

He conceded that Ethel had met with the police on three separate occasions prior to her arrest.

The state also conceded that there was no evidence that Ethel tried to influence state witnesses, more specifically her son.

Ethel's co-accused in the murder trial, Siyabulela Gcayiya, Andile Jongi, and Athule Mtyobile abandoned their bids for bail.

Judgment has been reserved.