Fear as murder suspects released on bail

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Residents of Mnguni settlement in Blaauwbosch, outside Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal, are baying for the blood of six murder suspects.

They were arrested for the brutal slaying of Baqoshile Buthelezi, 59, and Bheki Ximba, 24.

Residents say they live in fear after the suspects were released on bail.

Last Friday Derrick Thwala, 43, a leading businessman and five youths Sibusiso Magubane, 17, Thulani Ngobese, 23, Lucky Ngobese, 20, Melusi Hadebe, 16, and Mfanafuthi Ngcobo, 18, appeared in the Madadeni magistrates' court and were each granted bail of R1000, except Thwala whose bail was fixed at R2000.

They will appear in court again on August 30.

It is alleged that Thwala led the youths in the attack on the Buthelezi family after accusing the victim's grandsons of burglary.

One resident, Tholakele Mhlungu, said the law appeared to favour the rich.

"Every one is scared since they were released. We don't know who will be their next victim. They were supposed to rot in jail. It seems that criminals are more important than everyone else," Mhlungu said.

"Our leaders must revisit the constitution. I have never seen a paragraph in our constitution that says criminals have the right to take the life of others."

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela reassured the community that the police had increased their patrols in the area to deal with the situation.

"Police will arrest anyone involved in criminal activity," he said.