‘No bail for Chamane’: Maqongqo residents

2016-01-21 10:45
The Maqongqo community rallied at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court to oppose bail for the man allegedly behind the murder of Tamboville resident Smangile Vuyusile Khanyile (18).

The Maqongqo community rallied at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court to oppose bail for the man allegedly behind the murder of Tamboville resident Smangile Vuyusile Khanyile (18). (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - With placards in hand, Maqongqo residents stood in solidarity outside the courthouse in Pietermaritzburg yesterday to oppose bail for a man suspected of dismembering his ex-girlfriend.

Siphelele Chamane (21) of Gaybrook Farm appeared briefly before Magistrate M. Boikhutso yesterday charged with the murder of Smangile Khanyile (18). Only some burnt parts of the victim’s body have so far been recovered by police.

A police source confirmed that the complete head of the victim has not been recovered, even though a scalp believed to be that of Khanyile was retrieved during the course of investigations.

It was possible the remainder of the head was carried away by animals.

Adding to the distress of Khanyile’s family and friends is the fact that funeral rituals cannot be carried out until the body has been officially identified by way of DNA.

About 40 Maqongqo residents, including friends and family, gathered outside the court yesterday to protest against Chamane getting bail. However inside court the case did not proceed at the request of the defence, who indicated that they wanted time to verify a possible alternative address where Chamane can reside if given bail.

The demonstrators sang and called out as family members entered the court room where Chamane appeared.

Speaking for the crowd, councillor Mduduzi Ntuli said the group had gathered to support the mourning family during the court proceedings yesterday.

Ntuli said they were also demanding that the court should deny Chamane bail and that the police should return Khanyile’s body to her family.

“We as the community are always going back to the scene to look for the remaining body parts but we cannot find anything. The family is especially traumatised because they cannot hold the funeral,” Ntuli said.

Khanyile’s body was found in December last year, burnt beyond recognition and cut into pieces with the limbs wrapped in a blanket.

Earlier this month, police arrested Chamane for the murder.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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