Five Glebelands Hostel murder accused apply for bail

2018-04-10 17:47
Six of the seven men accused of murder in Glebelands Hostel appeared in Durban Regional Court where their bail application was heard. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

Six of the seven men accused of murder in Glebelands Hostel appeared in Durban Regional Court where their bail application was heard. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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A packed Durban Regional Court played host to the highly-anticipated bail application of five men accused of several murders at the infamous Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, outside Durban.

The men are among a list of seven accused, who have been charged with attempted murder, racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion and the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition. Most of the crimes are said to have been inflicted on Glebelands Hostel dwellers.

The accused who are applying for bail are police sergeant Bhekukwazi Louis Mdweshu, 27, Passenger Rail Agency SA (Prasa) employee Ncomecile Matlala Ntshangase‚ 34‚ Eugene Wonderboy Hlophe‚ 45‚ Mbuyiselwa Mahliphiza Mkhize‚ 28‚ and Vukani Mcobothi‚ 25.  

Their co-accused, Mondli Talente Mthethwa‚ 28 and Khayelihle Mbuthuma‚ 32 abandoned their bail applications.

The seven men were arrested at the end of last year during raids.

ALSO READ: Blood of cop accused of Glebelands killings found at shooting scene, court hears

On Tuesday, the court was overflowing with supporters, interested parties and heavily-armed police as advocate Jimmy Howse attempted to prove that Mdweshu, Ntshangase and Hlophe should be released on bail.

Howse pointed out that Mdweshu and Ntshangase had no previous convictions. He added that Hlophe's only brush with the law was an assault which dated back 21 years.

He submitted that the men also had ties to their community and argued that the State was taking too long to finalise the indictment in the case.

Howse also questioned why the men were arrested in 2017 for crimes that were committed years before.

"We have had lengthy unexplained delays in this matter. The men have been arrested in December and the State is yet to finalise its indictment."

Howse argued the trial would likely take well over a year to be finalised and that it would be unfair for the accused if they remained in custody for so long.

ALSO READ: Glebelands Hostel - the scene of many murders

"They will have to be in jail for such a long period of time. It is no fault on the part of the accused for this delay and there is no response from the State as to why this is taking so long."

But prosecutor Dorian Paver was quick to point out that Howse did not prove that there were any exceptional circumstances to warrant the men's release on bail.

"What we have seen would also apply to someone who was arrested for drinking on the side of the road. The charges entail murder. It is extremely serious."

He attributed the delays in the matter to the magnitude of the case.

"The State intends to prosecute this matter as quickly as possible. They face very serious charges."

The court is expected to give its decision on April 26.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime
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