Flabba's killer pleads for bail

2015-12-10 12:42

Johannesburg - Sindisiwe Manqele, convicted of the murder of her lover Nkululeko "Flabba" Habedi, on Thursday pleaded with the court to keep her out of jail pending her sentencing.

Through her lawyer Norman Makhubela, Manqele submitted an affidavit to the court stating she had not fled during her trial and had no reason to do so following her conviction.

In her affidavit, she revealed how her circumstances had changed since her trial started.

Manqele said she had lost her father four weeks ago, but had continued reporting to the police station despite dealing with her father's death.

The court was told she was also currently on anxiety medication, being administered to her by a family doctor, and was undergoing counselling.

Manqele felt the prison hospital wing would not be able to adequately deal with her medical condition as she had been detained at the prison before being granted bail in March.

Then Manqele had been out on R10 000 bail.

The court heard that Manqele and her cousins could scrape together an additional R5 000 for her fresh bail bid.

Manqele said she needed to still undergo some traditional rituals following her father's passing and would not be able to do so behind bars.

The 26-year-old was the sole heir to her father's estate. Her mother and brother passed away several weeks ago.

While her father's house was yet to be transferred to her name, Manqele's lawyer told the court she now had unmovable property as leverage.

Makhubela said her client was willing to even get a monitoring tag. 

However, the state was opposing bail, adding her release could undermine the justice system. 

Paul Schutte said the fact Manqele had previously tried to commit suicide indicated how she seemed to deal with emotionally distress. 

Judge Solly Sithole pointed out it was still possible for her to try and take her life while behind bars. 

Schutte responded all inmates could consult with psychologists and doctors while behind bars and the prison's hospital could deal with her medical conditions. 

He also reminded the court the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" no longer applied in this case. 

Manqele was found guilty of murder of stabbing Habedi in the chest on March 9 at his Alexandra home after the couple had had an argument. 

Manqele was convicted of a schedule five offence, which carried a minimum sentence of 15 years behind bars.

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