Last updated on Mar 11th, 2021 at 09:00 am
The husband of Cape Town mother of three Miche Samuels appeared in court in Wynberg on Monday for her murder.
Samuels was stabbed to death while driving home on Thursday 4 March. Her husband, Abdul Salam, was arrested soon afterwards, while her body lay sprawled in the driver’s seat.
Salam peered into the public gallery as he climbed the steps from the holding cells, wearing a blue protective medical jacket and a black face mask.
The soft-spoken man said, as he entered the dock, “I gave a statement to detectives”, before he was interrupted to ask whether he would represent himself, or opt for a lawyer.
He decided on a Legal Aid lawyer immediately, and the court heard he would not be applying for bail as he had nowhere to go.
The court heard that the couple had been to the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday 4 March to deal with a “domestic issue”.
The nature of this was not revealed, and her family outside the court seemed to be at odds over whether it had to do with a recent conversation the couple had about emigrating with the children, or whether it related to a matter involving a Bloemfontein relative.
The court was told that the couple was referred to the Wynberg police station last Thursday.
Miche then drove her husband and their one-year-old child home.
The child was in the back seat of the car.
Magistrate Goolam Bawa was told that Salam is alleged to have taken out a knife while Miche was driving, and stabbed her in the chest and neck.
A motorist behind them crashed into the car when it came to a dead stop, and Salam got out and ran away.
He was later apprehended and has been charged with murder.
The road in the Ottery area was also closed for police to conduct their investigations and, while Salam sat in the back seat of a Law Enforcement vehicle, angry men shouted for him to be let out of the car so that they could deal with him.
On Monday, Miche’s family was upset that only her mother Patricia Beck seemed to have been allowed in to the court because of the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Court public galleries are generally empty, with officials only allowing a returning accused or a complainant in to the court when their matter was being heard.
The family is in shock over Samuels’ fatal stabbing.
They said she was a very private person who was always working.
The children are in the care of their granny, but don’t seem to understand the gravity of what has happened.
“They ask for their mother. They haven’t once asked for their dad,” said Beck.
Salam indicated through his counsel that he would not need an interpreter as he had been in South Africa for 19 years. He is understood to hail from Bangladesh.
The matter was postponed to 5 May.
Because there will be no bail application, the postponement is for the State to gather post-mortem results, crime scene photographs, and more video footage.
Salam will not appear in court in person next time, but will be live streamed from prison on a TV in the court.
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