Man who chopped up former girlfriend applies for bail

2016-01-29 10:49
Bloody knife. (iStock)

Bloody knife. (iStock)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Pietermaritzburg magistrate will decide early next month whether to grant bail to a 21-year-old man who allegedly set fire to and chopped his former girlfriend into pieces.

Smangile Khanyile, 18, was murdered on December 22 last year. Some of her chopped and burned body parts were found by passersby the next day, and her family found a discarded leg in the bush at Tamboville on December 30, according to evidence in the case.

The court was told that Khanyile’s head and left arm are still missing, and DNA tests are being conducted to officially identify the body.

Warrant Officer Sizwe Makhathini is opposed to the release of the alleged killer, Sphelele Chamane, on bail, on grounds that he is a flight risk and that the case against him is extremely serious.

Makhathini said in an affidavit Chamane’s own safety would be at risk if he was released as the community wanted to kill him when he accompanied police to Tamboville — where the murder happened — to point out the scenes where the crime occurred and body parts were dumped.

Chamane had pointed out the various places to police and made a confession before a seasoned magistrate.

He said Chamane had no fixed address and rented a room in Tamboville at the time of the incident.

He was working as a trainee petrol attendant at a local service station.

The policeman said witnesses say they saw him with Khanyile shortly before the murder.

It is alleged Chamane murdered her by stabbing her in his room at around 19:00 on December 22. He then allegedly moved her body to an adjacent empty room and set her alight with petrol. Afterwards he chopped up the body, cutting off the head, legs and arms, and discarded the parts in the bush. He then allegedly returned home and cleaned his room.

Following his arrest on January 2 this year, bloodstained weapons were seized and police also uncovered hair and scalp remains during a pointing out.

“On January 4, the accused made a confession,” said Makhathini.

In an affidavit in support of his bail ­application, Chamane said he intends pleading not guilty. He said he wants bail because it would be a long time before the case was finalised. His mother was prepared to pay his bail, he said.

Magistrate M Boikhutso will give judgment on February 8.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder  |  court

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