LIMPOPO police have opened a case of attempted murder after Razeem Patel , the brother of murder accused Rameez, was shot on Sunday morning on the R71 near Polokwane – a day before he was expected to testify against his brother at his on-going trial before the Limpopo High Court.
Patel is currently standing trial for the murder of his 28-year-old wife and mother of three children, Fatima, who was found dead in his apartment at the suburb of Nirvana in Polokwane in April 2015.
The businessman is also accused of murdering his mother, who was shot dead in September last year while he was out on bail.
There is suspicion surrounding the murder of his father, which was initially thought to be a result of an armed robbery gone wrong because police had later discovered that nothing had been stolen.
Limpopo Police Spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed that Patel was shot on the R71 road between Mankweng and Polokwane near Makgeng Village and that the motive of the murder was not known.
“The police are currently investigating a shooting and attempted murder of the victim. At this stage the motive of the shooting is not clear but investigations have ensued and no arrests have been made so far,” he said.
Razeem’s shooting comes days after he was believed to have vanished after failing to appear in court to testify in his brother’s murder trial.
A source revealed that Razeem was found at his parents’ house in Nirvana when authorities went to there to look for him following his failure to appear in court. However, they couldn’t find him. Instead they found Razeem’s blood-stained bakkie with his cell phone and keys inside. There were also bloodstains on the ground next to the van.
It was later found that Razeem had not been feeling well and had taken some medication. He was found at the house and claimed to not have heard the police knocking.
The case was postponed at the Limpopo High court on Monday pending Razeem’s recovery at a place of safety.
Patel’s murder trial began in 2016 with the court hearing chilling accounts of what had transpired on the night of his wife’s murder on April 10 2015.
Police detective Lieutenant Colonel Lesiba told the court that Patel had taken the police from pillar to post when they requested access to the clothes he wore on the night of Fatima’s clod-blooded murder. He testified that the murder accused had initially told him the clothes he wore on the night of his wife’s murder were at his parent’s home, but later produced them after they had been contaminated or washed.
Fatima had been found dead in a pool of blood with gun-shot wounds. She had allegedly been shot at before being strangled to death.
Police had said at the time they house had showed signs of a fierce battle.
Chairs had been turned upside down, while kitchen curtains and the house floor had blood stains.