A man accused of killing his wife was released on R50 000 bail by the North Gauteng court on Tuesday.
Prem Emmanuel Basdeo was arrested in connection with his wife, Dawn’s alleged murder.
Acting Judge David Makgoba said the state failed to show that Basdeo would evade the law or how keeping him in custody would help protect the investigation.
Makgoba said even though it may appear that Basdeo is a dishonest person who was hiding something, “that would not be a reason not to grant him bail”.
“In a bail application, the accused is presumed innocent until found guilty,” he said, adding that the state could not show how Basdeo would tamper with evidence.
He said all evidence gathered by the state would be tested during the trial.
In July, Basdeo was denied bail by a Pretoria magistrate who said no exceptional circumstances were proven that would warrant his release.
Makgoba disagreed with the judgment, saying that it focused more on the strength of the case against Basdeo and that had nothing to do with a bail application.
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“The accused need not show exceptional circumstances, but show that it would be in the interest of justice that they are released on bail,” he said.
“The previous ruling leaned towards the strength of the case and less on the interests of justice.”
Basdeo reported Dawn missing to Brooklyn police in June.
He claimed that she left their home to go to a hospital for blood tests, but never returned.
Her body has yet to be found and the state believes she was murdered after blood was found in the house they shared.
Makgoba said the state did not show how keeping Basdeo in custody would help with locating the missing body.
“Several searches were conducted and the body is still not found, how will keeping him in custody help with finding the body?”
Basdeo also faced charges of perjury and defeating the ends of justice.
He is expected back at the Pretoria Magistrate court on 28 November.
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