Nun's murder accused abandon bail application

2015-05-06 17:09
Gertrud Tiefenbacher (87) was found murdered at her convent home in Ixopo on Sunday.

Gertrud Tiefenbacher (87) was found murdered at her convent home in Ixopo on Sunday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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Durban - Two men accused of raping and murdering an 86-year-old nun abandoned their bail applications in the Ixopo Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said that after they abandoned their bail application, the case against the two was postponed to May 8 for indictments to be served and for a high court trial date to be set.

Mondli Michael Shozi, 26, and Sbongiseni Phungula, 25, each face charges of murder, rape and robbery.

The Austrian-born Gertrud Tiefenbacher was found ­murdered in her room during the early hours of April 19.

Tiefenbacher was found dead on the floor next to her bed in her room at the Sacred Heart Home in Ixopo, with the cord of her electric typewriter binding her hands together and a wet towel, believed to have been used to suffocate her, over her face.

Police at the time said they believed that she had been raped by her killer or killers and were awaiting forensic evidence.

While no further comment on the issue was made by the police, the existence of the rape charges appears to confirm that she was raped.

Originally police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said that three people had been arrested in connection with the crime.

Known as Sister Stefani, Tiefenbacher was born in 1928 and arrived in South Africa in 1952.

Tiefenbacher was a Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood for more than 60 years, and worked at the Little Flower School as a teacher and secretary for 40 of those years until 1992.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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