Sithole accused back in court for bail bid

2015-05-18 05:36
Protesters outside the Alexandra Magistrate's Court. (Naledi Shange, News24)

Protesters outside the Alexandra Magistrate's Court. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg - Two of four men linked to the death of Mozambican national Emmanuel Josias Sithole are expected back in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court for a decision on their bail bid.

Sizwe Mngomezulu and Sifundo Mzimela, who with Mthinto Bhengu and a 17-year-old, are alleged to have stolen cigarettes from Sithole, a vendor, and attack him when Sithole confronted them on April 18.

He died as a result of a single stab wound to the chest.

At their previous appearance in court on May 13, an investigating officer told the court that allowing Mngomezulu and Mzimela out on bail would be a risky move.

"They can be attacked at any moment. It's too risky for them," Bheki Mhlongo told the court at the time.

Sithole's death occurred during a wave of xenophobic attacks in April. It started in townships around Durban and spread to Gauteng.

At least seven people, including three South Africans and Sithole, were killed. Scores were injured and displaced.

Bail condition

Vhonani Mathidza, for Mngomezulu and Mzimela, had asked Mhlongo whether a bail condition requiring both men to present themselves at the Alexandra police station would be a consideration.

Mhlongo said the men's faces were already in the media and the street to the police station had many street vendors outside who may recognise them.

Matshidza told the court there was no proof that there was a real threat to the men's lives were they to be released on bail.

"There are no actual threats. It's what one of their mothers is thinking [may happen]."

His clients intended on pleading not guilty to the murder and aggravated robbery charges against them.

"It is clear the deceased died as a result of a stab wound. There is no way that both men can be convicted of murder. It is clear that the chances of proving robbery are also very slim."

The only charge Mngomezulu and Mzimela were willing to plead guilty to was to assault and with the intention to commit grievous bodily harm for physically attacking Sithole.

Read more on:    emmanuel sithole  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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