Toddler murders: charges dropped against 4

2013-11-01 12:24
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Diepsloot five appear in Pretoria

2013-10-24 16:19

Five men accused of kidnapping, raping and killing two toddlers from Diepsloot have appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court. Watch WATCH

Pretoria - Charges against four of five men accused of kidnapping, raping and killing two toddlers in Diepsloot were withdrawn in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Friday.

State prosecutor Matric Lupondo said 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 man would remain in custody. The case was postponed to 27 November for further investigation.

Access to the courtroom was tightly controlled with guards posted at its two entrances and police present 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 present in court.

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

The fifth man faces two counts of murder, rape and kidnapping after 2-year-old Yonelisa Mali and her 3-year-old cousin Zandile Mali were found dead in a Diepsloot toilet on 15 October.

He would also be charged with the September murder of toddler Anelisa Mkondo. Police were still investigating.

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

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

NPA spokesperson Medupi Simasiku said at the men's previous court appearance on 24 October that the fifth man arrested had confessed to committing the 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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