Court postpones case against 5 men accused of raping woman, setting her and friend on fire

2018-06-20 14:04
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Judge Ramarumo Monama on Wednesday lambasted counsel representing five men accused of raping Jeanette Cindi several times, and then setting her and her friend, Lungelo Buthelezi, alight.

Monama told the court that justice needed to be served for the victims.

The trial was meant to get underway in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday, but did not proceed because there were several issues with the legal representation of the accused and other outstanding issues that needed to be dealt with.

"Let us expedite this matter so that we can get on with our lives.

"The matter deserves preference, so it must run so that justice can be seen to be done," said Monama shortly after postponing the matter for a pre-trial sitting on July 16.

Read: South Africa: A country where women and children end up as grim stats

The men are being held in custody.

Monama apologised to members of the public who he said used their money to catch taxis to hear the case, only for it to be postponed.

Victims stoned before being burned 

According to an IOL report, Cindi, 34, who was apparently five-months pregnant, was murdered in the early hours after a night out in Kagiso in April 2017. Buthelezi, 31, died from his injuries the next day.

It is alleged the victims and another friend were on their way home when Buthelezi was knocked over by the suspects.

The suspects, in a minibus taxi, stopped and allegedly told them they had to transport an injured Buthelezi to hospital.

Cindi and Buthelezi were bundled into the taxi, and taken to a piece of veld, where the men took turns raping Cindi. They later pelted Cindi and Buthelezi with stones, poured petrol on them and set them alight. 

Read more: Three bodies, bound in the same way discovered in an open field in Kagiso

The men, who have been identified as Bheki Mzama, 28, Sabatha Matoko, 30, Lindokhule Tembani, 24, Thamsanqa Msezane, 21, and Londani Mzama, 23, are facing two counts of murder, three counts of rape, kidnapping, negligent driving and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Four of the men appeared briefly in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.

One of the suspects remained downstairs in the holding cells because a wheelchair, which he needed to get into the courtroom, was unavailable.

The matter has been set down for 15 days.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  courts

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