Vlakfontein murder accused denied bail

2019-02-04 17:54
The house where the decomposed  bodies of seven family members were discovered in Vlakfontein. (News24)

The house where the decomposed bodies of seven family members were discovered in Vlakfontein. (News24)

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Vlakfontein murder accused Fita Khupe was denied bail in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Khupe, 61, and his former co-accused, Vusi Ernest Mabaso, 27, allegedly killed three female and four child members of the Khoza family in Vlakfontein, Johannesburg, on October 29, 2018.

Mabaso allegedly committed suicide in January while in police custody in Cape Town.

READ:Vlakfontein murders: Police yet to obtain death certificate of suspect who killed himself

"After consideration of the evidence in its totality, I have come to the conclusion that Mr Khupe has failed to prove exceptional circumstances," Magistrate David Mhango said.

There were several factors which the magistrate considered in deciding whether to release Khupe on bail.

These included the investigating officer's view that there was a likelihood that angry Vlakfontein residents might kill Khupe if he was released on bail.

He added that he had no doubt that Khupe would flee if he were to be granted bail, saying that the accused was a Zimbabwean national. Even though he had a South African identity document, there was a high likelihood that he would cross the border, which would make it difficult for investigators to track him down, he said.

The magistrate also pointed out that there were outstanding witnesses, who "will be reluctant to come forward and [depose] statements" if he was released.

The case was postponed to April 2 for further investigation.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  courts
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