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'Islamophobic' murder accused to undergo assessment

Publish date: 10 June 2024
Issue Number: 1080
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Grayson Beare, the son of the chairperson of both Beare Holdings and the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation Julian Beare, appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court last week on charges of murder and attempted murder after an alleged Islamophobic attack in the city. Beare (44), allegedly stabbed Halima Hoosen-Preston to death in her Glenmore home on Sunday, reports the Mail & Guardian. Her husband Shaun Preston and her son are fighting for their lives in hospital. The Beare family has distanced itself from Grayson, who has previously been treated for psychological problems and substance abuse, saying they stand with the Hoosen-Preston family. The assault allegedly occurred after an altercation Beare had with Hoosen-Preston during which she laughed upon hearing that his cousins had been killed in Israel. He said this in a video that went viral on social media, in which he identified himself as a former Zionist who has rejected the Jewish religion. Addressing the public gallery, Magistrate Ashwin Singh warned the large contingent of United for Palestine Supporters and EFF members to comply with the rules of the court and to remove sunglasses and non-religious headgear.

He barred the public from recording the court proceedings, apart from taking written notes. ‘The court is not a political arena for you to vent your frustrations. Let the court proceed in a dignified manner so that the constitutional rights of all are upheld,’ Singh said, according to the M&G. Prosecutor Calvin Govender said the state intended to oppose bail and wanted a seven-day postponement so that it could do a bail investigation and so that Beare could undergo a mental health assessment by the district surgeon. He asked for Beare to be remanded in custody at Westville Prison. Defence attorney Nyameko Jodwana told the court that Beare wanted to seek protection because he had received threats in prison. Singh asked Beare about minor injuries that appeared on his face and body. ‘He says he was assaulted by undercover police,’ Jodwana said. Singh said Beare should make representation to the Department of Correctional Services regarding his request for protection, and postponed the case to 11 June. Beare (born King) is the son of Julian Beare’s late wife from whom he had been estranged for 30 years, the family said in a statement.

Full Mail & Guardian report

IoL reports that the SA Jewish Board of Deputies has called for calm. Deputy director, Charisse Zeifert said ‘this is a tragic event and our hearts and prayers go out to the affected family’. ‘We ask that this matter be investigated thoroughly by the judicial system, and that the investigations and legal processes be allowed to take their course. In this highly charged environment, we call for calm from all communities so that justice can prevail,’ Zeifert said.

Full IoL report

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