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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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No bail for 'ritual' killer as police continue probe

By unknown | Jan 23, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mandla Mathebula, the suspected killer of his former girlfriend, Advice Mashaba, was refused bail in the tightly-packed Mhala magistrates' court in Mpumalanga yesterday.

Mhala chief magistrate Sam Nkuna told the accused that because police were still investigating it was not the right time for the court to grant him bail.

Barefoot and dressed in a khaki short-sleeved shirt and cream-white jeans, Mathebula showed no reaction.

The court remanded Mathebula, 22, in custody, despite his testimony that he was a third-year student at the Vaal University of Technology and was supposed to register on February 5.

State prosecutor City Rikhotso said even rich people in mansions were refused bail, "so the excuse that the suspect is a university student does not have to be accepted in this court".

Mathebula's lawyer said his client ought to be granted bail because he was not a flight risk and had been cooperating with the police.

In opposing bail Superintendent Boy Dlamini told the court that evidence in the police's possession showed he was the killer of Mashaba, 21.

"There are a number of people who have said they saw the accused assaulting and dragging the victim in the early hours of December 26 last year," said Dlamini.

Constable Tebogo Mathobela, from the police's Ritual Murder Unit in Polokwane, corroborated Dlamini's evidence.

She dismissed allegations by Mathebula that police in Mankweng had blindfolded, assaulted and electrocuted him.

"The suspect is a very safe man in my hands and it just can't be true that any police officer assaulted him," said Mathobela.

Mashaba is said to have disappeared on December 26 after her new boyfriend, Eddy Mhlanga, had brought her home after she spent the night with him.

Mathebula allegedly ambushed and assaulted Mashaba and buried her body in a deep grave in the back yard garden of his brother, police Inspector Richard Mathebula.

Post-mortem results showed that Mashaba's breasts, lips and eyes had been removed.


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