Diepsloot: Charges withdrawn against 4

2013-11-01 13:05

Charges against four of the five men accused of kidnapping, raping and killing two toddlers in Diepsloot have been withdrawn in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court.

State prosecutor Matric Lupondo said today the evidence showed the men were not in Diepsloot at the time of the crime.

Magistrate Len Miller withdrew charges against four of the men, but a fifth suspect will remain in custody. The case has been postponed to November 27 for further investigation.

Access to the courtroom was tightly controlled with guards posted at its two entrances and a visible police presence in the public gallery.

Media, family, supporters of the family and political party members filled the courtroom.

Women wearing Agang T-shirts and uniformed ANC Women’s League members were also present in court.

The media were barred from taking photos, making recordings or taking notes on tablets. Only written note-taking was permitted.

The fifth suspect faces two counts of murder, rape and kidnapping after two-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her three-year-old cousin, Zandile Mali, were found dead in a Diepsloot toilet on October 15.

The man will also be charged with the September murder of toddler Anelisa Mkondo. Police are still investigating.

Four of the suspects appeared in court on October 18 and the case was postponed to allow them to apply for Legal Aid.

The fifth man, aged 29, appeared in court on October 21. He was arrested in Alexandra, Johannesburg, on October 18.

NPA spokesperson Medupi Simasiku said at the men’s previous court appearance on October 24 that the fifth suspect had confessed to committing the October 15 crimes.

After the murders were discovered, Diepsloot residents stoned cars and burnt tyres in the street outside the local police station in protest.

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