Sad, confused teen in dock for Ngcobo massacre

2018-02-26 20:40
Members of the public seen in the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court. (Ziyanda Zweni, Daily Sun)

Members of the public seen in the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court. (Ziyanda Zweni, Daily Sun)

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Ngcobo - A baby-faced, 19-year-old man was among four people who appeared in Ngcobo Magistrate's Court in the Eastern Cape on Monday, for the killing of five police officers.

The teen cut a sad and confused figure in the dock.

At first, he wanted to be released on bail, but later said he didn't have anywhere to go if he were to be released.

"I do not have a home. I lived with the Mancobas with my mom, and now I do not know where she is," he told the court.

Next to him were his three co-accused, aged 22, 23 and 30. The men cannot be identified until an identity parade has been conducted.

One of the four seemed dazed and sleepy, and it seemed he was falling asleep on the shoulder of another accused.

Barefoot and with their hands cuffed, they were told that they face five charges of murder, two of robbery with aggravating circumstances and one of attempted murder. It is understood that the four accused have not been charged in connection with the murder of a retired soldier close to the scene.

The three older accused insisted on representing themselves, even though the charges are serious.

The eldest declined to apply for bail.

'Investigations are continuing'

At least 30 heavily-armed National Intervention Unit officers lined up at the entrance to, and inside, the courtroom.

The number of people allowed inside the courtroom was limited to less than 40 and tickets were handed out at the gate.

Outside, hundreds of residents from the small rural town gathered.

They had waited since the morning, singing songs which called for the controversial Seven Angels Ministry church to be closed.

The four accused were members of the church, which was at the centre of high drama since the weekend when seven suspects linked to the Ngcobo murders were shot dead on its premises.

Shortly after the shooting, ten others were arrested.

However, on Monday, regional National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said that there were now only four suspects instead of the reported ten, because of current evidence which links the four thus far.

"We cannot rule out that there will be more arrests as investigations are continuing," he added.

A memorial service is expected to be held for the five police officers in Ngcobo on Tuesday.

Read more on:    ngcobo  |  ngcobo massacre  |  courts

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