Murders: sangoma out on bail

2011-01-07 00:00

ALLEGED local sangoma Ellias Ngcobo (66) was granted bail yesterday in a case in which 10 accused so far are charged with the murders of Pietermaritzburg couple Tholakele Shezi (54) and her husband, Themba (60), who were accused of practising witchcraft.

The couple were beaten with sticks and set alight at Snathing near Edendale on November 30.

The Witness was told at the time of the incident that the couple were accused by the community of having abducted a seven-year-old boy and other people for the purposes of witchcraft.

The missing boy, Mthokozisi Mpanza, was found dead with some of his body parts missing.

The state initially opposed the granting of bail to all the accused, but yesterday agreed to the release of Ngcobo after establishing that he is not regarded as a flight risk or a threat to witnesses.

Magistrate Divesh Mootheram released Ngcobo on bail of R1 500 before postponing the bail hearing to January 25.

On that day investigating officer Warrant Officer Sipho Bhengu is expected to testify to oppose the granting of bail to the remaining accused, one of whom is a 16-year-old youth.

The accused are Ellias Ngcobo (66), Siyabonga Shoba (26), Nolwazi Mayeza (23), Mxolisi Kubeka (28), Andile Sibi (32), Mondli Dumakude (37), Mbongeni Mtolo (22), Mzwandile Mbatha (25), the 16-year-old youth, and Xolani Khanyeza (27).

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