Suspects in Soweto double murder deny guilt

2017-06-14 20:23
Bongeka Phungula and Popi Qwabe. (Facebook)

Bongeka Phungula and Popi Qwabe. (Facebook)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The two men charged with killing two young women in Soweto last month claim they are innocent.

Alec Magaula Mamothame, 43, and Sandile Nkosi, 25, appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning to apply for bail before Magistrate Herman Badenhorst.

They are accused of kidnapping, robbing and killing close friends Bongeka Phungula and Popi Qwabe on May 12.

Qwabe, 24, was found dead near Naledi High School. She had been shot and left for dead. Soweto West police cluster commander Major-General Fred Kekana said a passer-by found her and took her to Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Jabulani, where she died on arrival.

Less than 24 hours later, her close friend Phungula, 28, was found in Tladi, a neighbouring township. She had also been shot in the upper body. Police suspect she was raped.

Both women were originally from Mayville, Durban.

Mamothame and Nkosi, both taxi drivers, were arrested on May 21.

Mamothame’s lawyer Themba Tshabalala read out an affidavit in which he stated that on the evening of May 12, a Friday, three men and two women got into his minibus. He claims that the three men attacked him and hijacked the taxi near Zola.

“I am not sure if those two ladies were just passengers or if they were part of the plan,” he said.

He managed to escape from the moving vehicle and returned to where the taxi owner, Johannes Mkhwanazi, parked his taxis overnight and told him what had happened.

The two men went to the Jabulani police station to open a case. While there, a vehicle tracking company told Mkhwanazi that his minibus was in Mapetla.

According to police at the scene, two or three men jumped out of the minibus and ran away, the court heard.

'I am innocent'

Mamothame said he found lipstick in the taxi. He suspected it belonged to one of the two women passengers. The men returned to the parking area to drop the vehicle off, escorted by police.

“I had nothing to do with the kidnapping, murder and robbery of anyone,” Tshabalala read.

Nkosi told the court through his lawyer Harry Bonnke Maluleke that Mkhwanazi instructed him to park the vehicle. While doing so, Nkosi heard a cellphone ringing. He found it in the minibus and answered to find out who the owner was. He had no luck getting information from the person on the other end of the line and decided to keep it.

A week later, his mother called him, saying police were at their home looking for him. He lives with her. When he arrived, officers arrested him for being in possession of the cellphone, he said.

“I accept that the charges against me are serious but I deny any involvement. I am innocent of the charges proffered against me. The State’s case is weak and no evidence links me to this offence. I did nothing wrong,” Nkosi said in his affidavit.

Both lawyers called Mkhwanazi as a witness. He testified that Mamothame had been working as his driver for more than 10 years. He corroborated what both men said.

He told the court he only realised the men had been arrested when police arrived at his parking area to take fingerprint evidence from the vehicle.

“I heard their screams while the police were busy being physical with them in the car. That is when I realised they had arrested them.”

The matter was postponed to Monday for further evidence to be led in the bail hearing.


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.