Sowetan LIVE 23 May 2019

The fourth accused in the Isis-linked murder case of Cape Town-based British botanists Rodney and Rachel Saunders will make a formal application for bail in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court, north of Durban, on Thursday. 

Ahmad Jackson Mussa, a 35-year-old Malawian citizen better known by his alias “Bazooka”, will apply for bail after being held in custody for more than a year. 

He faces a raft of charges pertaining to the kidnapping and murder of the Saunders in February last year.  

Mussa has proven to be a vital piece of the puzzle in solving the case of the slain couple. 

He evaded police for more than a month after the initial arrests of his co-accused, Sayfudeen Aslam del Vecchio, his wife Bibi Fatima Patel and their teenage neighbour Themba Xulu, who turned state witness after pleading guilty to possessing the Saunders’ stolen cellphones and receiving a wholly suspended sentence early in the case.

SowetanLIVE’s sister publication TimesLIVE previously revealed how Mussa had led police to the crocodile-infested Tugela River, where he pointed out the area he, Del Vecchio and Patel had dumped the elderly botanists’ bodies. 

Investigating officer Anuresh AJ Lutchman previously submitted that Mussa’s passport had been found at Del Vecchio and Patel’s home in the foothills of Endlovini, near Eshowe.

“A preliminary analysis of digital devices found in Del Vecchio’s possession indicates Bazooka’s involvement in the commission of the crime‚” read his statement.

Del Vecchio and Patel were denied bail last year. During the trio’s last court appearance they insisted on accompanying Mussa to court for his bail application. 

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