Man accused of raping and murdering 107-year-old gran drops bail

2018-02-01 13:45
Community members from Mpophomeni, near Howick, protest outside the Howick magistrate’s court for a man accused of raping and murdering an 107-year-old woman to be denied bail.

Community members from Mpophomeni, near Howick, protest outside the Howick magistrate’s court for a man accused of raping and murdering an 107-year-old woman to be denied bail. (Kerushun Pillay)

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The man accused of raping and murdering an 107-year-old woman at her home in Mpophomeni, near Howick, has abandoned bail out of fear for his safety.

The 36-year-old, who cannot be identified until he has pleaded, is alleged to have broken into the home of Phillipina Maphumulo on Sunday night, where he raped and murdered her by choking her.

He is further alleged to have choked Maphumulo’s teenage granddaughter, who lived in the same house. She, however, survived the incident.

READ: Residents furious at police after 107-year-old gran murdered

The alleged assailant is facing charges of rape and murder of Maphumulo and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm arising from the attack on her granddaughter. He is also charged with housebreaking with intent to assault.

It is alleged that the granddaughter was attacked after she had heard noises coming from Maphumulo’s room and went to investigate. Afterwards the attacker fled from the house.

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development said this week that the man was out on parole in connection with two cases of rape at the time.

He was arrested on Monday after being handed over to authorities by a family member.

The man told magistrate Ntsoaki Khakano at the Howick Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday that he wanted to abandon his bail application “because of the situation outside”.

“I won’t be safe outside. There is no one to look after me,” he said.

Outside court, dozens of community members brandished signs saying he must be denied bail.

A packed gallery jeered at him when he was brought into the courtroom.

The community of Mpophomeni handed over a memorandum to court officials before the proceedings began, which asked the court to deny the accused bail and to rescind his parole until the court makes a final decision on the matter.

Outside court, Maphumulo’s grandson, Skhumbuzo, told The Witness that the accused man was his neighbour, but that he did not know him well.

He said the family was devastated at the loss of his grandmother. “We are not well at all. For him to do this to an 107-year-old, we are not happy. We see everyone is not happy, not even the community and that’s why they’re here [at court].”

He said Maphumulo was well known in the community, and would visit her family members often.

She is survived by three sons and 15 grandchildren, he said.

The provincial MEC for Social Development, Weziwe Thusi, is expected to visit the family on Thursday.

The accused is expected to appear again on February 9 to apply for a legal aid attorney.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rape case

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