TWELVE MEN ACCUSED OF KILLING SEVEN YOUTHS DENIED BAIL 20 JULY 2021
The Cacadu Magistrates' Court has denied the release on bail of twelve men charged with the murder of seven young men in Zingqolweni village, in what is alleged to be an act of vigilantism.
Among the accused men, aged between 36 and 63, is the former Emalahleni Local Municipality Ward Councilor, Cecil Hluphekile Bobotyane (63).
They were arrested following the murder of seven men, aged between 21 and 27. Four of the men were certified dead on the scene after having been burnt to death by an angry mob on the afternoon of 14 April 2021. The fifth man succumbed to his injuries in hospital on the following morning.
As the police were busy at the scene where the five victims were burnt to death, they were alerted to two more bodies of young men found hanged at a nearby forest in the neighbouring area of Maqhashu.
Police investigations linked Bobotyane, Malibongwe Koki (43), Phindile Mbhadeli (45), Lindelo Maso (56), Bangindawo Nyamela (52), Sabelo Khala (47), Ndumiso Bukwana (37), Malibongwe Mgqeba (48), Bathobele Phangiso, Simphiwe Ngungeni (54), Gcinumzi Jordan (63) and Myekeni Matshawule (58) to the murders.
The men are facing seven counts of murder, except Maso and Mgqeba, who are facing five counts of murder in relation to the five victims who were burnt to death.
It is alleged that the young men were rounded up and murdered in broad daylight in front of their relatives after they were accused to be behind the killing of at least 12 elderly people in Zingqolweni village since February 2021. However, two more elderly people have since been murdered in that village after the vigilante attack on the seven young men.
Delivering judgment on bail, the acting magistrate, Felicia Spangenberg agreed with the prosecutor, Asanda Ngxafana that it is not in the interest of justice to release the accused men on bail because they failed to show exceptional circumstances permitting their release on bail as required in law.
The court postponed the case to 20 August 2021 for further investigations.
Statement issued by Luxolo Tyali, Regional Spokesperson, DPP Mthatha, NPA, 22 July 2021