Vigilantes waiting for alleged girl killers

2011-04-06 00:00

TWO pupils from Mafakatini —Thembeleni Ngcobo and Bhekumuzi Shange (both 19) — will remain in custody pending trial for the alleged gang rape and murder of a young woman whose disembowelled body was found in the area on December 18 last year.

A third accused, Sipho Mkhaye (20), was granted bail by magistrate Bessie du Preez, after the State withdrew its opposition to his release on grounds that there was little evidence linking him to the offences other than statements made by his co-accused to police, which can’t be used in court.

The results of DNA tests on bloodstained clothing seized from all three accused are still outstanding, the court heard.

Du Preez granted Mkhaye bail of R2 000, on condition that he leaves the Mafakatini area for his own safety.

Evidence led at the bail hearing of the trio this week was that the murder victim’s sister, Bawihile Mthalane, had an argument with the accused at a tavern the previous evening and allegedly called them “loafers”.

Thembeleni Ngcobo is charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for allegedly stabbing Mthalane, but his co-accused were not implicated in the stabbing.

The state alleges however that afterwards, all three accused tried to follow Mthalane home and lost sight of her. Later they allegedly arrived at her home, knocked, and her sister, Sali Mthalane (22), opened the door. She was dragged outside, raped, killed, and her body sliced open from her genitalia to her chest.

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Zwelibunzi Ntshele told the court that he fears for the accused’s safety if they are released on bail as the community is very angry.

He initially said Ngcobo and Shange made confessions concerning the crimes, but later agreed that they merely made admissions to police when warning statements were taken from them.

Du Preez said there is a “vast difference” between the two and said a warning statement by an accused does not have the same evidential value as a confession. However she said it was not necessary for the bail court to determine the strength of the state’s case.

She ruled that Ngcobo and Shange failed to show any exceptional circumstances entitling them to bail, and remanded them in custody until their next appearance on May 3.

The director of public prosecutions has given notice of an intention to indict the accused to stand trial in the high court.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.