Delay in court appearance of third person arrested for murder of woman accused of being a witch

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Collen Sello and Taelo Dipholo, in court for murder.
Collen Sello and Taelo Dipholo, in court for murder.
Ntwaagae Seleka
  • The family of a mentally ill woman who was killed after she accused of being a witch, has applauded the police for making a third arrest in their investigation into her murder.
  • The third person could not appear in court, as expected, because a court employee tested positive for Covid-19.
  • The two other accused, Collen Sello, 27, and Taelo Dipholo, 28, are expected back in court next week.

"Killing of our women in South Africa has become fashionable and has to be stopped."

These were the words of Jabulani Moagi, the spokesperson for the family of mentally ill woman, Jostina Sangweni, who was accused of being a witch and killed in Soweto.

Moagi was speaking outside the Protea Magistrate's Court on Thursday where a third person who was arrested for her murder was supposed to appear. But the matter couldn't proceed because an employee at the court tested positive for Covid-19.

ALSO READ | Mentally ill Soweto woman accused of witchcraft dies after being set alight

The other two accused, Collen Sello, 27, and Taelo Dipholo, 28, have appeared in court on several occasions and are behind bars after they were denied bail.

Sangweni, 59, was schizophrenic and was attacked after she was found in a yard in Mapetla, Soweto. She was set alight and succumbed to her injuries eight days later in hospital.

Moagi applauded the third arrest.

"I don't know which role he played. We know that he is the owner of the house where our mother was attacked, severely assaulted, and set alight. The third suspect was present when our mother was killed. 

"There is something that he had done that led to his arrest. The court will reveal what role he played," Moagi said.

READ | 'We want more arrests' - family of murdered schizophrenic woman accused of being a witch

He added: "As men, we must stop killing women. Men must stop taking out their frustrations on women."

Moagi said the family was 'on the ground, assisting police to arrest more suspects", and added:

I am taking stress medication. I am directly involved in trying to help solve the murder. The case has hit me hard. My wife tries to avoid any mention of her mother's name. She would wake up at night and cry.

He continued: "Sangweni's father is bitter and angry. He always asks why his daughter was killed. He asked me why her killers didn't take her to the police instead of ending her life. They didn't only beat her, they set her alight.

"Everyone who played a role in Sangweni's death must be arrested. What they did is despicable. You don't do that to a woman. They killed a woman who was helplessly raising her hands, pleading for mercy.

"Do they think they are little gods who decided the fate of another human being? I want them to confess for what they did. Even if they confess, it is not going to be easy for us to forgive them," he said.

The third accused is expected to join Sello and Dipholo in the dock on 10 December.

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