Bail given despite ‘inhumane’ acid attack

2015-11-19 10:42

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Pietermaritzburg - Despite describing the acid attack that killed Lifeline staffer Thulile ­Phungula, 23, as “inhumane”, a magistrate found no grounds to refuse bail for the man charged with her murder.

She said the case against him cannot be described as overwhelming, and there are no grounds to believe he will flee.

Pietermaritzburg magistrate M. Boikhutso granted Simphiwe Mbanjwa bail of R15 000 but imposed stringent conditions. These include that he may not enter Willowfountain area, where the incident occurred, and where he was living at the time. Instead he was ordered to live at an alternative address he had provided police with, which is 200 km away from Pietermaritzburg.

Mbanjwa was ordered to remain ­under house arrest pending finalisation of his trial.

A Lifeline staffer said afterwards she and others felt “shocked and ­dismayed” by the decision to grant Mbanjwa bail despite a petition handed to court which was signed by people around the world.

Mbanjwa is charged with murdering Phungula by strangling her, making her drink battery acid and with sexually assaulting her by pouring acid into her private parts. The case was adjourned to January 12.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  domestic abuse

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