Court clears gallery for kids' appearance

2012-11-16 12:28

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Community barred from children murder case

2012-11-16 13:55

Members of the public were removed from the Mookgopong Magistrate's Court for the appearance of six murder-accused minors. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Members of the public were on Friday removed from the Mookgopong Magistrate's Court's public gallery for the appearance of six murder-accused minors, as required by the Child Justice Act.

The court applied the act, which advocates that the case be held in camera as the accused are minors.

The six were arrested on Thursday for the murders of three children in Mookgopong, Limpopo in August.

The accused were aged between 12 and 14, and face three charges of murder and rape.

Five of the six are apparently homeless.

Brothers Bafana Kekana, 9, and Hosea Richard Kekana, 10, and their cousin Johana Kekana, 12, were found dead in Mookgopong (formerly Naboomspruit) on August 18.

They had been stoned to death. Bloodied stones, covered by a blanket and tree branches, were found near their bodies.

They were wearing their school uniforms and their hands and feet were bound with shoelaces.

The girl, Johanna, had been raped before being killed.

The decision by the court to empty the public gallery was met with anger from the public.

Josephine Lekalakala, who arrived early to book herself a seat, said she was not aware that a law would prevent people from observing the case in court.

"I do not know anything about the Child Act and do not care about that, I am here to see the suspects."

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