Murderers should to be burnt alive: Protestors

2014-09-01 15:44
Protestors. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

Protestors. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Durban - Protesters outside the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday called for "witchcrafters and murderers to be burnt alive".

The words were written on a poster, displayed outside the court where six people, including three minors, appeared briefly for the murder of Desiree Murugan, whose decapitated body was found last month in Durban's Shallcross Stadium.

Proceedings in courtroom C were held in camera with only the victim's and the accused's families, and journalists, allowed in.

The matter was adjourned to Wednesday for the six to appear in the Durban Regional Court when a date for a bail application would be set.

The three minors cannot be named and are being detained at the youth facility of Durban's Westville prison.

Sivonkaliso Mbili, aged 32, and Vusumuzi Gumede, aged 30, are being detained at Westville prison.

The sixth accused, Falakhe Khumalo, was being held in the Chatsworth police station cells, prosecutor Lolly Soobramoney told the court.

"He is assisting police in the recovery of the murder weapon", she said.

'Walking free'

Municipal workers found Murugan's body in the stadium last month. The Daily News reported at the time that the 39-year-old had a six-year-old son and worked as a prostitute. She reportedly had a drug habit.

Her head was found in Imfume, on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

At the time police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said one of the accused was a traditional healer.

On Monday the courtroom was initially packed to capacity. It took some time before those not part of the families, or who were not journalists, left.

Outside the court about 70 protesters, many wearing National Freedom Party and Democratic Alliance shirts held placards and shouted. Some wore shirts with Murugan's picture on them.

Other posters read: "why are killers walking free" and "re-instate the death penalty".

Piney Naicker, the man carrying the poster calling for "witchcrafters and murderers to be burnt alive", said there were too many killings.

"It's high time the law stopped people of this calibre. It's barbaric. It's insane. They should get the same treatment. In South Africa I think the death penalty should be reinstated."

Naicker, who is the vice president of the Shallcross Civic and Ratepayer's Association, said the law needed to be stricter on minors.

Also outside the court, Bongiwe Gala, chairwoman of the NFP's Women's Brigade in eThekwini, said: "We women want to be safe, to walk freely in the areas and not to be scared of the criminals. The case of umuthi, the government must take strong action."

She was referring to traditional medicine.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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