An SACP leader from Copesville appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday charged with murder, apparently over a R100 alcohol debt.
Sipho Malope has been remanded in custody until next week. It is alleged that he killed Bernard Mpofu (47) on February 14 at the Mason’s Mill informal settlement.
Malope’s attorney, Farheim Ebrahim, told magistrate Nitesh Binessarie that Malope had opened a case of assault against Mpofu. This assault on Malope allegedly took place the same day that Mpofu was killed.
Malope told the court that he has no pending or previous cases.
The prosecutor asked that the matter be adjourned so that the state can verify the safety of witnesses, Malope’s alternative address and compile a profile on him.
At the moment the state is opposed to him being released on bail, but this could change.
The Witness has reported that Mpofu was allegedly beaten by a bolted stick. Malope apparently went to find Mpofu at a local tavern on Sunday and demanded money.
Mpofu’s landlady, Thokozile Dlomo, said that Malope was said to have beaten him several times when the pair had a fall-out.
She said she found him surrounded by a pool of blood when she returned from church on Sunday afternoon shortly after the incident happened.
Mpofu was taken to Northdale Hospital, and then transferred to Grey’s Hospital where he later died.