Khayelitsha toilet killing case: State accused of ‘ambush’ evidence strategy

2017-08-16 21:48
Cousins Xolisa and Athabile Mafilika on a visit to Khayelitsha as part of their rape, murder trial. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Cousins Xolisa and Athabile Mafilika on a visit to Khayelitsha as part of their rape, murder trial. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Cape Town – Lawyers for two men accused of raping and killing Sinoxolo Mafevuka in Khayelitsha continued their objections on Wednesday to their clients’ entire bail proceedings being admitted as evidence in their trial.

Mafevuka's body was found slumped over a toilet in a communal ablution block. Her clothes had been stuffed into the cistern. Water from the leaking toilet is believed to have washed away any DNA evidence.

Read more: Chained murder-accused look on at Sinoxolo in loco inspection

Xolisa and Athabile Mafilika, who are cousins, have pleaded not guilty to committing the crimes on March 2, 2016.

The State applied for all the evidence led at their bail application, in a lower court, to be admitted into the record.

The defence objected to this request on the basis that the court might be swayed by evidence which was not ordinarily admissible.

A fair trial

Shaid Bruinders, for Athabile, told the court on Wednesday to consider fairness in the trial. He said any evidence introduced, whether at the main trial or the bail application, should be excluded if it was inadmissible.

“Accordingly, the State is improperly attempting to introduce hearsay evidence, irrelevant evidence and character evidence into the main trial by ambush, and in an unconstitutional and irregular manner,” his written argument states.

Prosecutor Ralph Zeeman said he was open to sitting with the lawyers and seeing what they wanted redacted from the bail record.

“If our minds can’t meet, we will bring it to the court’s attention before the bail record is admitted.”

Parties to sit together

Judge Taswell Papier agreed that the “practical and legal reality” was for the parties to sit together and decide what evidence was relevant for him to consider.

The trial would resume on Monday.

The State explained that it was struggling with witnesses. One had refused to testify and a warrant of arrest was issued. Police would arrest her and bring her to court.

Another witness was in Vredenburg. The investigating officer indicated he would do everything he could to get this person to court. 

Read more on:    sinoxolo mafevuka  |  cape town  |  crime

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