Lawyers question lighting, access to toilets where Sinoxolo was killed

2017-05-17 16:23
Sinoxolo Mafevuka (Supplied)

Sinoxolo Mafevuka (Supplied)

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Cape Town – Lawyers for two men accused of raping and killing 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka had many questions on Wednesday about the lighting and conditions of the communal toilets in Khayelitsha where she was found.

Advocates Mornay Calitz and Shaid Bruinders, for Xolisa and Athabile Mafilika, took turns to cross-examine Constable Nomampondomise Gobodo on these aspects in the Western Cape High Court.

Gobodo, the State’s first witness, was stationed at Harare police station and was the first officer to arrive at the toilets last year.

She revealed under cross-examination that there was open access to the toilets before she cordoned the crime scene.

The men, who are cousins, on Tuesday 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.

Calitz told the court that the teen was found with a rope around her body.

“Am I correct that it relates almost to a sign of muthi? It is a lucky charm against evil spirits,” he asked the police officer.

She said only the teenager’s family would know.

When told a witness had last seen Mafevuka with tights on, she said she could not remember seeing anything like that on the scene.

Shacks were situated around the toilets. Calitz said his client told him there was no formal lighting between the houses.

Gobodo replied that the lawyer was thinking of the past and that there were lights there now.

She added that there were no lights in the communal ablution block itself but there was a tall light not far away.

Inspection in loco

Calitz said that screams were heard just after midnight on March 2.

Judge Taswell Papier said it was highly speculative to say those were Mafevuka’s screams.

Calitz clarified that they were working on an assumption.

“Sometime after 12:30 the teen was attacked and left for dead. I put it to you that eight hours passed, give or take, by the time you got to the scene and dealt with the body.”

Gobodo said she did not know what the time of death was.

Building on this line of questioning, Bruinders said the police officer had to agree that anyone would have been able to enter that cubicle before she put tape up.

“That is what I am thinking, yes,” she replied.

Bruinders wanted to know whether there was any sign of an object being dragged towards the toilet. This was after it emerged that a witness had allegedly seen the men dragging a body.

She said she did not see anything on the sandy, stony surface in front of the toilets.

Bruinders suggested that an inspection in loco was actually needed because it was confusing to only refer to photos.

The court said it was a good idea and granted the request.

Prosecutor Ralph Zeeman said he had contacted his office and the investigating officer.

“There appears to be a lot more red tape involved with arranging an inspection in loco. The accused have to be taken along with the entire court.”

Zeeman was expected to report back to the court on Wednesday afternoon on when the inspection could take place.

Read more on:    sinoxolo mafevuka  |  cape town  |  crime

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