One of five suspects faces trial for Helepi’s murder alone

2017-10-11 06:01

The murder of football stalwart Alfred Lejone Helepi has headed for another episode with one of the five accused, Ntsane Togowe (37), on trial alone in the Bloemfontein High Court.

The trial is set to be finalised on Thursday (12/10), having begun on Monday (09/10).

The four co-accused are Lesotho nationals Lira Morienyane (32), Nthabiseng Clementina Lempe (32) and Alice Majake (27), as well as Andile Banzini Gxamza (33) from Port Elizabeth. They have not yet been recaptured since their apparent wrongful release on 11 November last year.

The five suspects were represented by Legal Aid South Africa attorneys Machini Motloung and Saintin Seithei-sho at the time they were released.

As with his co-accused, Togowe, who resides in Bloemfontein, faces similar charges – housebreaking with the intent to commit a crime, robbery with aggravating circumstances and murder. He handed himself over to the police in Bloemfontein earlier this year and the court granted him conditional bail of R1 000.

Togowe and his alleged accomplices were arrested between 30 March and 1 April last year after the murder of Helepi on 29 March. The deceased played for Moroka Swallows and he owned a tavern adjacent to his house in Phahameng, Bloemfontein.

The armed assailants reportedly shot Helepi three times, looted the house and fled the scene with a vehicle.

Helepi’s murder has become a puzzling matter and has caused public outrage due to the bungle which saw the five suspects released. The bungle was due to the appointment of two state presiding officers who were reportedly unfamiliar with the details of Helepi’s murder case.

Puzzling aspects include the case being struck of the roll by the Bloemfontein Regional Court and then reinstated after postponement. The suspects were also released and then later a warrant for their arrest was reissued.

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