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Mcebo Dlamini appears in court. Picture Credit: Julia Madibogo
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Student's case heading for high court

By unknown | Jun 27, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

The murder case against a Vaal University of Technology student, who allegedly killed his girlfriend in December 2006, is heading for the high court.

Mandla Mathebula, 25, allegedly badly assaulted his girlfriend before burying her mutilated body in a shallow grave.

Mathebula, of Songeni village near Thulamahashe, in Mpumalanga, is scheduled to appear in the Nelspruit circuit of the Pretoria high court from August 20 to 22.

Police spokesman Constable Robert Makhubele confirmed that Mathebula's case has been referred to the high court because of its seriousness.

"This matter has been referred to the high court because of the aggravating circumstances," Makhubele said yesterday. "The accused even tried to bury his victim's body in a secret grave,"

Mathebula, who was a third-year student when he allegedly murdered his girlfriend, is out on R3 500 bail granted by Mhala magistrate Sam Nkuna early last year.

Mathebula is accused of killing Advice Mashaba, 19, in the early hours of December 26 2006 after she returned from visiting her new boyfriend.

Mathebula allegedly woke Mashaba's younger brother at about 2am that morning at her parents' home at Songeni village and instructed him to call her, but she was not there.

He allegedly waited for Mashaba to return. When she eventually did at about 4am he attacked her.

When Mashaba went missing, her family opened a missing person's case at the Mhala police station.

Police arrested Mathebula but released him 16 hours later because someone had told them that the girl had been seen strolling with men in Hluvukani about 30km away.

The family informed Sowetan and the police rearrested Mathebula after further investigations.

This time the police took Mathebula to court but he was again released owing to a lack of evidence.

But after this third attempt Mathebula's freedom lasted only a few hours.

After police sniffer dogs discovered a secret grave at the home of Hoedspruit police inspector Richard Mathebula, the suspect was arrested before he was granted bail.

Mashaba's badly decomposed body was exhumed 10 days after her disappearance.

A postmortem later revealed that her breasts, lips and eyes were missing.

Further police investigations revealed that Mathebula had carried the body into his bedroom after Mashaba had died.

The body lay on his bed covered with a blanket for a whole day while he dug the shallow grave.

He allegedly borrowed tools from neighbours, who saw him digging next to a tree at the home of his policeman brother. They had no idea he was digging a grave.

It was only later in the night that Mathebula allegedly buried the girl's body when everybody was asleep.


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