Thu Oct 27 11:03:45 SAST 2016

'rapists' spark anger

By unknown | Jan 28, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

It's Friday afternoon in Court D at the Vereeniging magistrate court. The court is packed to capacity, filled with angry Orange Farm residents who have come to see this "evil couple" charged with rape and murder.

Jeremiah Nhlapo, 34, and Maleshonae Monokoa, 28, have been sitting quietly, waiting their turn. As soon as they are called, the insults start flying.

"You are dogs. You are evil," shouted people in the public gallery. "You should rot in jail."

Nhlapo and Monokoa of Orange Farm, are accused of raping and killing Keneilwe Mofokeng, 8, at their house on December 10.

Monokoa from Lesotho, is in the country illegally. She faces a murder charge. She is alleged to have held down Keneilwe, a neighbour's daughter, while Nhlapo raped her while her mouth was covered to prevent her from screaming. They then strangled the girl to death.

Magistrate Bruno van Eeden had to warn the gallery to quieten down. "We understand the frustrations of the community. We will not allow people to disrupt court proceedings. If we do not show respect this country will be in chaos."

Nhlapo and Monokoa are both in custody after earlier abandoning their bail application bids because they feared they would be lynched by the community.

Monokoa entered the country illegally in 2006 and has lived with Nhlapo in Orange Farm since.

It is also alleged that Monokoa pinned the little girl down and placed her hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming while Nhlapo raped her.

Keneilwe's tiny body was found in an open veld a few metres away from her home. Nhlapo was arrested at his house trying to flee from the police.

Keneilwe's legal guardian, Matshepo Ntokoto, 36, stood a metre away from the dock.

Sindisile Mthembu said: "We are angry, what they did to that child is cruel."

As soon as Van Eeden postponed the matter the placard-waving crowd went outside and chanted freedom songs, among them the famous Jacob Zuma's Awuleth' umshini wam.

Some of the placards read "Away with rapist and murderers in our area", "No bail for rapists and killers".

Nhlapo and Monokoa are expected to appear in court on February 29.


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