Diepsloot bodies ‘gruesomely mutilated’

2013-10-19 00:00

THE two Diepsloot cousins whose bodies were found in a toilet on Tuesday were “gruesomely mutilated”.

The Pretoria Magistrate’s Court also heard yesterday that it is not clear exactly how four men arrested on Wednesday are connected to the deaths of Yonilisa (2) and Zandile (3) Mali.

The four appeared briefly yesterday. The charge sheet lists two charges of abduction, two of rape and two of murder against them. The men, aged 53, 49, 32 and 25, may not be identified until they have pleaded, because one of the charges is rape. They all live in Diepsloot, but the three oldest are Mozambican.

The 49-year-old was wearing a surgical mask in court and looked ill.

Magistrate Len Muller told the men that they face very serious charges, which carry life sentences if they are found guilty.

The Mozambicans indicated they could not understand the Shona interpreter. Prosecuter Matric Luphondo said he had been told they spoke Shona, but that a Shangaan interpreter could be called. He arrived minutes later and all four asked for Legal Aid lawyers.

Luphondo said more than one lawyer may be required if the men prove to have conflicts of interest. They will appear again on October 24.

There were not many members of the community in court, but there were people who said they were relatives of the accused.

“We don’t believe they did those things to the children,” said one.

Outside the courthouse, a crowd gathered to wait for the police van to leave.

“You b******ds!” some shouted.

Tania Otto of the organisation Women and Men Against Child Abuse said she was “half nervous” to comment on the rapid arrest of five suspects.

“We are cautiously optimistic. The police have been under huge pressure from the community. I hope the arrests are based on good investigative work and forensic evidence.”

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