Sat Oct 22 05:31:56 CAT 2016

Community marches over villager's death

By unknown | Dec 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Benson Ntlemo

Benson Ntlemo

The community of Gandlanani outside Malamulele in Limpopo disrupted traffic yesterday as they marched to the Malamulele magistrate's court to present a memorandum of their demands.

The community complained that the courts "had handled a case involving the murder of one of its members badly". This follows the death of 28-year-old Justice Sithole on October 28.

Sithole was allegedly dumped at Malamulele Hospital by unknown people who allegedly told staff they had found him on the road.

Themba Ngobeni, 22, of Shigalo village, appeared before magistrate Noel Maluleke charged with culpable homicide in connection with Sithole's death.

Five other people who were earlier arrested in connection with the case were released due to lack of evidence.

Ngobeni's case was postponed to January 25 next year. He was granted R4000 bail. which he failed to pay. He is in police custody.

Members of the community, led by local headman Mthetho Baloyi, said they were not happy with the bail extended to Ngobeni, as well as the release of the other five.

"We feel the case was not handled with the seriousness it deserves and this has angered my people," said Baloyi.

Rhulani Sithole, an uncle of the dead man, claimed his nephew died after he was pushed out of a moving car.

But tensions rose when the magistrate refused to receive the memorandum.

"We applied for the march, but the magistrate phoned me the night before and told me he would not receive the memorandum," said Bohani Zava, one of the organisers, who added it was surprising that someone employed by the state refused to accept a memorandum from "legal marchers".

Police spokesman Inspector Alson Mapindani confirmed the march was legal.

Mapindani said investigations revealed that Sithole died after he was allegedly pushed out of a car during a fight with some unknown person or people.

"The others were released because there was no evidence linking them to the incident. Maybe the community knows something we do not. They are free to come forward," he said.


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