A "HABITUAL stock thief" who is a suspect in the murder of a 73-year-old woman was remanded when he appeared in the Mhala magistrate's court yesterday.
Solly Zitha and his aunt Alinah Magagula were not asked to plead to charges of murder when they appeared before magistrate Rodgers Ritshuri on Tuesday. Magagula was also not granted bail.
Ritshuri remanded Zitha and Magaula until next Wednesday pending the availability of their lawyer, who failed to appear in court. The two are accused of hacking to death the mother of Munghana Lonene FM news presenter Lilian Hlabangwane on December 23 last year.
Ritshuri re-issued a warrant of arrest for Zitha, who had initially been granted bail .
Zitha and Magagula are believed to have killedVhamia Mfukwa Hlabangwane after she went to Zitha's house to reclaim cattle he had allegedly stolen.
An assortment of tools were allegedly used in the attack and Hlabangwane died a while later.
Police arrested Zitha and Magagula and they appeared before magistrate Theo Mnisi who remanded them pending their appearance on January 5.
Mnisi changed the date of January 5 to January 4 without informing either the investigating officer or Hlabangwane's family. The family arrived at the court on January 5 to be told the court had sat the previous day.
They heard that Zitha had been granted bail.
The family found that the prosecutor had told the court that Zitha had faced a lesser charge.
Zitha was rearrested a few days later, after Ritshuri revoked his bail and a Sowetan exposé.