Front page headline: Outcry as ‘demoniac’ accused granted bail
3rd page headline: Bail granted in the case of the demons
Isolezwe 23rd March 2012 page 3
by Bawinile Ngcobo
CAUTION: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED or WEAK of STOMACH
Utterly depressed, the relatives of the mother of the young girl whose entrails and private parts were ripped out, allegedly to remove the demons which were possessing her, went home after the five accused of the murder were granted bail in the Mlazi magistrate’s court yesterday.
These relatives, among whom was the grandmother of Nhlanhla Dlamini (14), sat outside the court waiting for the decision the whole day, as it was not permitted for members of the community to attend the case because there was a minor among the accused.
The case was attended by the father of the fifteen-year-old child, as well as court officials and reporters from this newspaper who obtained permission after the company lawyers lodged a request that they be there (although the permission did not extend to writing about the testimony which related to the minor).
Miss Fundiswa Faku, Mrs Lindela Jalubane, Miss Nokubonga Jalubane, the minor accused and Miss Nonhlanhla Mdletshe were released on bail yesterday, having been warned not to approach any of the witnesses and to remain at the addresses which they gave to the court, and also not to approach Mlazi where the incident took place.
Four of the accused, Miss Faku, Mrs Jalubane, Miss Jalubane and Miss Mdletshe, were granted bail of R500 each, while the minor accused was released into parental supervision.
Magistrate Anesh Sukdeo said that according to the constitution there was no legal reason to keep people incarcerated needlessly, and that they were not a danger to the community.
He stated that some of the accused are still at school, and others are caring for homes with children.
He said that the investigating officer of the case, Warrant Officer Alex Gumede, failed to give sufficient reason why they should not be released, apart from saying that he feared that other witnesses of their actions would be afraid to write statements as they were afraid that the accused would do the same thing to them that they did to Nhlanhla.
The prosecutor of the case, Miss Nomkhosi Ngubeni did not ask a single question of the accused when they were making their bail application, apart from saying just that the state had no questions.
Even when the Magistrate repeatedly questioned her about why she had no questions when they were debating the bail, she clearly stated that there were none.
The lawyer for the accused, Mr Moss Mjwara, told the court that it is clear that the state does not take the investigation of the case seriously, as 13 days after the case was opened not a single statement has been taken from witnesses, and the investigating officer had not found out whether the accused had any prior cases against them.
Gumede presented evidence that praying took place from March 9th to early in the morning on March 10th, during which time Mrs Faku and the other accused were wanting what they called the ‘code’ of the deceased girl.
Mrs Faku said that she wanted this ‘code’ because she said that she had also become possessed by the demons which left the deceased.
Gumede said that they (Miss Faku and the deceased) removed their clothing and were trying to remove the demons by scrubbing at each other’s private parts, until Miss Jalubane expressed disapproval – saying that they should stop playing and do what they said they were doing.
He said that the deceased ran out of the room in which they were, and they hunted her and caught her and brought her back, hitting her and saying that she didn’t want the demons to be removed.
Miss Faku said that she got on top of the deceased while the others held her by her hands and feet, spreading her private parts, thrusting in her hand and removing her innards. They tied knots in the intestines which came out. They removed other lumps of flesh, calling a small boy to bring a plate and a cup in which to put them.
He said that Miss Mdletshe phoned the police and they were caught in this way. The case has been postponed to the 25th of April this year.