Eastern Cape man, girlfriend in dock for allegedly murdering love rival

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A man and his girlfriend have appeared in court.
A man and his girlfriend have appeared in court.
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  • An Eastern Cape woman, who allegedly used her murdered love rival's phone pretending to be her, has been arrested for defeating the ends of justice.
  • The suspect appeared in court alongside her boyfriend who was arrested for allegedly murdering the missing woman.
  • The pair will remain in custody until 13 July.

An Eastern Cape man has appeared in court alongside his girlfriend in connection with the murder of his other lover, who is the mother of his child.

Sabelo Tshaka, 35, and Thobeka Sawulisi, 38, appeared in the Elliotdale Magistrate's Court on Tuesday charged with the murder of Tshaka's girlfriend, 34-year-old Zoleka Funeko.

Tshaka is facing murder charges while Sawulisi is charged with defeating the ends of justice for allegedly using Funeko's phone, pretending to be the murdered woman, in a bid to mislead concerned family members and friends.

READ | Eastern Cape man arrested for allegedly killing and burying 15-year-old 'girlfriend' under his bed

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Funeko was last seen on 13 June when she left her Elliotdale home for Mthatha, where she was working.

Her family reported her missing three days after her employer enquired about her whereabouts after she failed to report for duty.

When relatives and investigators called her cellphone, the accused Sawulisi allegedly answered the phone and claimed to be the missing Funeko.

She told callers she was in Gauteng holidaying and did not want to be disturbed.

Police investigations led to Tshaka who is the missing woman's boyfriend and father of her child. 

Sawulisi is also the mother of his other two children and the pair is dating.

ALSO READ | Eastern Cape taxi driver gets 22 years for murdering ex-girlfriend

Tshaka took the police to an open field in his home village of Gusi in Elliotdale.  

A human skull, bones and other belongings believed to be Funeko's were found scattered around the area, said the NPA.

During their first appearance today, Tshaka elected to represent himself while Sawulisi requested the services of Legal Aid South Africa, it added.

Both accused will remain in custody until 13 July for a bail application.

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