UJ student Palesa Madiba's alleged killer appears in court

2019-08-07 16:22
Dumisani Mkhwanazi, 36, appears in the Protea Magistrate's Court in connection with the murder of UJ student Palesa Madiba. (Jeanette Chabalala/News24)

Dumisani Mkhwanazi, 36, appears in the Protea Magistrate's Court in connection with the murder of UJ student Palesa Madiba. (Jeanette Chabalala/News24)

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A man who was arrested in connection with the murder of University of Johannesburg (UJ) student Palesa Madiba six years ago appeared briefly in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. 

Madiba's remains were found two years after she went missing. 

The 36-year-old Dumisani Mkhwanazi appeared in court in front of a packed public gallery. He asked for proceedings to be adjourned to secure a legal representative. 

The matter was postponed to August 21. He is facing charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice. 

Following the adjournment, Madiba's cousin, Thabiso Tsholedi, told reporters that the family was "partly happy" that something was finally happening. 

READ: Man arrested 6 years after Palesa Madiba murder

"It's been an emotional week. We prefer to be happy more than sad," he said.

Tsholedi said the family had met the accused soon after Madiba went missing, but that he had kept his distance, claiming he had no knowledge of her whereabouts.  

Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the State had been ready with the matter since April 2018, but that Mkhwanazi had been in hiding from the police. 

Madiba was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, on November 7, 1992. At the time she went missing on August 9, 2013, she was enrolled for a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting at UJ.

Madiba had spent the weekend at friend Tshidi Mkhwanazi's house in Phiri and was expected home in Diepkloof on the Monday evening.

Her remains were found in a shallow grave at Tshidi's home on December 16, 2015, after the police received an anonymous tip-off.

ALSO READ: Palesa Madiba's family commends police after man arrested in connection with her murder

Tshidi claimed she had last seen Madiba on August 12, 2013, when she left in the morning to go to work.

She said she left her with her uncle who was in her home at the time. Police took the uncle in for questioning but he was later released.

According to reports, he had taken out a restraining order against Madiba's family, claiming the family harassed him about her whereabouts.

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