Sithole family: If they apologise, we'll forgive them

2015-05-19 12:08
Emmanuel Sithole's sister Thando speaks to News24. (Naledi Shange, News24)

Emmanuel Sithole's sister Thando speaks to News24. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg - Emmanuel Sithole's family was pleased that his alleged killers had been denied bail but were not happy about the tension they feel brewing between themselves and the families of the murder-accused.

Sithole's sister, Thando, told News24 in an interview that while they wanted justice to take its course, they were willing to forgive.

"No, the families [of the alleged attackers] have not contacted us. We see them in court. They have never tried to make contact," she said.

The families of the four accused usually pack the back of the court.

But when the Sithole family and the relatives of the accused met at the entrance of the court, or sat metres away from each other in the court gallery, the families did not even exchange greetings.

‘Apologise, we’ll forgive’

Asked whether her family is willing to forgive, Sithole said: “If they are sincere in their apologising, we would be willing to forgive.”

Emmanuel Sithole, a street vendor from Mozambique, had allegedly been attacked for demanding payment from a group of young men who had taken cigarettes from his stall with paying.

His attack was documented by a photographer from a newspaper who took pictures of the incident.

The pictures aided police investigations in making the speedy arrest of the four men alleged to have carried out the attack.

Two of the men, Mthinta Bhengu and a minor, have indicated that they want to enter into a plea bargain with the state.

The other two, Sizwe Mngomezulu and Sifundi Mzimela indicated they would plead not guilty to murder. They said the State would instead have a strong case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm against them.

Children hardest hit

The pair applied for bail. Their request was denied in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on Monday.

The Sithole family said their faith in the justice system had been restored following the court's decision to keep the accused behind bars.

They spoke of the difficulty they went through every time they headed to the court.

"It is hard when again and again you hear how he is killed," said Sithole.

During the bail application, the court heard that Sithole was assaulted with a spanner. He tried to flee from his attackers but died after being stabbed in the chest.

His children were the ones hardest hit by his killing, said his aunt.

"As adults, we try to heal from this but the kids... They are just not OK," said Sithole's aunt, Annah.

The family has called for life imprisonment for the four accused.

Read more on:    emmanuel sithole  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  xenophobia

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