Scores of angry Siyabuswa township residents demonstrated outside the Mdutjana magistrate's court where a senior government official was appearing in a murder case.
Brighton Musa Sithole, 38, deputy director of liaison in the Department of Labour, appeared in a packed courtroom yesterday in Siyabuswa on murder, attempted murder and kidnapping charges.
He was not asked to plead and the case was postponed to next Wednesday for bail application.
Angry crowd toyitoying and displaying placards outside the court building called on the magistrate not to grant Sithole bail.
Some of the placards said: "Let justice take its course", "No bail for Musa" and "Magistrate think before you grant him bail."
Sithole was arrested by members of the Mpumalanga organised crime unit last Wednesday in Umlazi near Durban in connection with the fatal stabbing of Margaret Kolobe, 22, who was carrying her four-day-old baby in her arms.
He also wounded Themba Mahamba and Gabisile Kolobe, 19, and kidnapped the sickly Nhlanhla Mnguni, 20, as well as Given Mnguni, 14, wearing only his underpants and drove to KwaZulu-Natal with him.
He released Mnguni two days later and gave him money to return home to Mpumalanga.
He allegedly terrorised members of the two families after he could not find his girlfriend, who is also a senior official in the Department of Transport.
The girlfriend had gone home to attend a family function.
He is also facing a charge of arson after allegations that on the same night he went on the rampage in Siyabuswa, he allegedly torched his girlfriend's house in Orchards, Akasia, Pretoria.
Captain Lucas Sithole of the Pretoria police confirmed the arson case, saying investigations into the case were continuing.