Zandspruit vigilante killings: Case against 14 accused postponed for some to secure lawyers

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Some of the 14 people accused of killing eight young men in Zandspruit in 2021.
Some of the 14 people accused of killing eight young men in Zandspruit in 2021.
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • Fourteen people charged with killing eight people made their first appearance in the Gauteng High Court on Friday.
  • They allegedly took part in the kidnapping and killing of eight young men in Zandspruit in 2021.
  • The matter was postponed. 

The Gauteng High Court on Friday, during the pre-trial hearing of 14 people charged with killing eight young men in a vigilante attack in Zandspruit in 2021, heard that the trial could not yet get underway as the majority of the accused had not yet secured legal representation. 

Thirteen men and a woman appeared before Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng on eight murder charges, nine kidnapping charges, and two attempted murder charges.

The 14 accused are Tebogo Mabula, Mziwamangwane Witbooi, Njabulo Zwane, Phakiswa Tsengiswa, Maxwell Mpofu, Klaas Masemola, Joshua Mabodze, Alfred Mollo, Everyone Moyo, Phillemon Seemela, Douglas Tshuma, Charles Ramashia, Phiwe Khubeka and Peter Mufamadi. 

Their matter was postponed to allow 10 of the accused to secure legal representation.

The 10 told the court they wanted Legal Aid representation.

Advocate Martin Gede represented Mabula, Tsengiswa, Masemola and Mollo.

READ | 'No one can stop angry residents of Zandspruit' - ward councillor after 4 people killed by mob

The 14 accused were allegedly among about 200 angry Zandspruit residents who brutally killed eight young men in Zandspruit last year.

A ninth victim survived the ordeal.

The victims were accused of terrorising residents of Zandspruit.

The nine victims met their demise on 19 May 2021.

They were rounded up in the early hours of the morning and battered with an assortment of weapons.

The nine victims were woken up from their homes, undressed and severely assaulted.

One by one they were frog-marched to a gravel soccer pitch, where the brutal beatings continued.

At the soccer pitch, the crowd increased.

Paraffin and tyres were swiftly arranged, and the victims were doused in paraffin. Some of them were naked and others scantily dressed.

The tyres were placed around their necks before they were set alight.

READ | Zandspruit mob attacks: Death toll rises to 6 as two more victims succumb to injuries

Four men died at the scene, while four others died later in hospital.

The charred bodies of those who died at the scene were found face down.

When forensic pathologists attempted to remove one of the bodies, the tyre around the neck of one of the victims burst into flames.

After the bodies had been collected, a burnt shoe, the ashes of burnt tyres and bloodstains remained on the scene.

Relatives of the deceased collected the items the following day after performing rituals on the soccer field.

During their last appearance in the Roodepoort Regional Court, Magistrate Delise Smith ordered that Mabula, Witbooi, Zwane, Moyo and Mufamadi be transferred from the Krugersdorp Prison to Johannesburg Prison. They were to join Masemola, Mabodze, Mollo, Tshuma, Seemela and Ramashia at Johannesburg Prison, popularly known as Sun City.

Magistrate Smith wanted the accused to be closer to the High Court.

Tsengiswa, Seemela and Khubeka remain out on bail.

The 14 accused are expected back in court on 18 February.

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