DNA evidence key to Rhodes Park prosecution case

2016-02-08 16:20
Crime scene at Rhodes Park (Jack Bloom, Supplied to News24)

Crime scene at Rhodes Park (Jack Bloom, Supplied to News24)

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Johannesburg - DNA evidence was expected to play a crucial role in linking three suspects to the brutal attack on two couples at Rhodes Park in Kensington. 

The couples were attacked by a 12-man gang as they took a stroll around the park in October following a church service. 

The two men were stripped naked. Their clothes were used to tie their hands and legs and they were then thrown into the dam where they drowned. 

One of the men's partners was raped, while the other managed to escape. 

On Monday, prosecutor Colleen Ryan told the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court that semen collected from the victim would hopefully link the suspects to the crime. 

She stated that she had since received the preliminary results from two of the accused - Thabo Nkala and Edmor Ndlovu - both believed to be foreign nationals who are in the country illegally. 

The two were arrested just days after the crime, while the third suspect, Mduduzi Mathibela, was arrested in December. 

The final DNA results of all three men were expected to be ready next month. 

When Nkala first appeared in court last year, he had shoulder-length dreadlocks which he had tied in a ponytail.

On Monday he appeared in court with his locks cut off, wearing an old white shirt.  

Ndlovu stood next to him, scrunching his face as he walked into the courtroom and again when he addressed his lawyer, insisting that he did not want to be photographed. 

Ndlovu held his hands behind his back as the three of them followed the proceedings through an interpreter. 

Mathibela, who also wore an old, washed out white shirt, said he didn't want his face in the media in order to protect his children who were still at school. 

Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff rejected his reasons and granted permission for the media to take pictures of all three of them at the end of proceedings. 

This was also supported by the fact that the State said it would not be conducting an ID parade with the three men.

A court orderly, however, hurried the three men out of court before proceedings were adjourned, making it impossible for the media to take pictures of them.

The three were expected back in court on March 30.

Read more on:    joahnnesburg  |  crime

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