Murder at school: No bail for seven men

2008-05-26 00:00

Pietermaritzburg magistrate Paul van Dongen yesterday refused to grant bail to seven accused — most of whom are employed at the Mlulama High School in Hopewell as security guards — in connection with the murder of a 17-year-old pupil, Andile Shabane, on February 8 this year.

The accused are Andreas Mkhize (34), Qkhelelo Mkhize (30), Foreman Sithole (19), a 17-year-old pupil who cannot be named, Ndumiso Duma (23), Xolani Madondo (27), Mthabisi Phungula (23), Nozia Bhekani Sani (27) and Mhlekisi Shezi (29).

The youth and Sithole were both released into the custody of their guardians, but the other seven accused will remain in custody.

Van Dongen said he did not deem it to be in the interests of justice for them to be released on bail.

He said the history of the incident, as it emerged during the bail hearing, indicated that the murder was motivated by revenge and was premeditated. The victim died an extremely violent death, suffering multiple slash wounds.

Van Dongen said the evidence also indicated that the state witnesses all come from the same community.

The evidence was that a person had been stabbed to death for unknown reasons during 2007, and subsequently died of his injuries during December last year.

It is alleged that a group of people, including the accused, gathered at a house in the area as a result and planned to kill Shabane out of revenge.

About a dozen people then allegedly went to Shabane’s home, where he lived with his twin.

The twins were allegedly assaulted and fled.

Shabane’s injured twin was later admitted to hospital and Shabane was taken to the home of a councillor for safety. Somehow, he left there and was discovered by the accused and others at a house in the area. He was allegedly tied up with ropes and belts and taken to the school grounds, where he was killed.

The case was postponed until June 25.

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