Man accused of lesbian's murder loses bid to have charges dropped

2017-11-30 22:27
Signice Mdani, accused of the kidnap and murder of Cape Town woman Noluvo Swelindawo, appears in court. (File: Jenni Evans, News24)

Signice Mdani, accused of the kidnap and murder of Cape Town woman Noluvo Swelindawo, appears in court. (File: Jenni Evans, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – There was jubilation on Thursday when the Western Cape High Court dismissed an application to have charges dropped against the man accused of the kidnap and murder of Cape Town resident Noluvo Swelindawo. 

"Jou bliksem!" a woman shouted at Sigcine Mdani after Judge Derek Wille handed down his judgment following the discharge application.

"Make them tighter!" shouted another woman as Mdani was shackled to be taken back to jail until his trial resumed on Monday.

Mdani's lawyer, Advocate Sheriff Mohamed, had applied for a discharge in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act. 

READ: Man accused of lesbian's murder wants case dropped

This section allows the defence to make an application after the State closes its case if it believes the State has no credible prima facie evidence against an accused.

In handing down judgment on the application Wille said: "There is simply nothing advanced by Mr Mohamed to even remotely suggest that the evidence presented by the witnesses who testified on behalf of the State is of such a bad or poor quality that no reasonable person could accept it."

Swelindawo was found dead on December 4, 2016, near a footbridge connecting Driftsands and Khayelitsha, east of Cape Town.

She had been kidnapped from her shack in Sophakama, Driftsands, hours earlier while her girlfriend Nqabisa Mkatali hid next to the bed. 

Mdani was arrested the next day.

Fears that sexuality was a factor in killing

The court has heard that before her death she and Mdani had got into a fight at a party.

Swelindawo had also shown her brother, Bonga, a picture of her swollen face, telling him Mdani was responsible. 

Before her death, Bonga got into a brawl with Mdani and Mdani's parents when he went to find out what had happened to his sister. 

READ: Court hears of how murder-accused's parents were allegedly attacked

With fears that Swelindawo was targeted because she identified as lesbian having surfaced, the Triangle Project, a nonprofit organisation focusing on the human rights of LGBTI people, has been monitoring proceedings.

Triangle Project health officer Sharon Cox said she was relieved that the trial would continue.

She added that she was looking forward to hearing Mdani's testimony as Swelindawo's supporters sang and drummed in the background. 

The trial resumes on Monday. 

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.