Cousins plead not guilty to the rape and murder of Sinoxolo Mafevuka

2017-05-16 16:29
Sinoxolo Mafevuka (File)

Sinoxolo Mafevuka (File)

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Cape Town - Two cousins accused of raping and killing 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka in Khayelitsha on Tuesday pleaded not guilty in the Western Cape High Court.

Xolisa and Athabile Mafilika shook their heads as the charges of murder and rape were read out.

Prosecutor Ralph Zeeman said the two acted in common purpose.

The pair denied strangling Mafevuka on March 2, 2016, and dumping her body in a communal ablution block in SST Block, Town Two.

Her naked body was found slumped over a toilet. Her clothes had been stuffed into the cistern. Water from the leaking toilet is believed to have washed any DNA evidence away.

Mornay Calitz, for Xolisa, said his client did not have a plea explanation.

Athabile said he had an alibi defence. This was read out by his lawyer Shaid Bruinders.

"On the evening of the day in question, at approximately after 8pm, during Generations on the television, the accused was at the house of his aunt and that he was in the company of his cousin-brother. They were smoking while there," he said.

"He later went to his house where his girlfriend spent the night with him. He accordingly knows nothing about what happened to the deceased."

'A matter of evidence'

Earlier, Calitz had brought an application for further and better particulars.

Supported by Bruinders, they had wanted clarity on the charge sheet, with its reference to common purpose.

The lawyers said the charge sheet in its current form did not make it clear what the alleged role of each accused was.

"It says a long-sleeve top belonging to the accused was found on the scene. Which of the accused did it belong to?" Calitz asked.

With regards to the rape, he said that if one person held a victim down while another raped her, only one could be charged with rape.

Zeeman replied that it had given all the information it had to the defence.

"What role each of the accused has played in the commission of this crime is a matter of evidence, both by eyewitness accounts and the rest being circumstantial evidence," the prosecutor said.

The court would be required to draw an inference, including on the allegation that the accused were seen dragging a body towards the communal toilets.

Judge Taswell Papier dismissed the application. 

"The State has indicated that it has provided the defence with all the information in its possession," he said.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    sinoxolo mafevuka  |  cape town  |  crime

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