Sugarcane killers get day in court

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

ANC and IFP members yesterday left the Umzinto magistrates' court on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast singing the same tune - that the three suspects arrested in connection with the sugar cane field serial murders "must rot in jail and their hands be chopped off".

Three suspects, including a woman believed to be the suspected serial killer's girlfriend, made a brief appearance before Magistrate Giel van Aarde yesterday.

Their first appearance was held in camera after state prosecutor Christelle Rossouw had applied that court proceedings be held behind closed doors.

Rossouw asked that the public and the media not be allowed in court during proceedings because they might affect investigations as the police are still to conduct an identification parade. Van Aarde ruled the public and media should leave the court.

"As much as the public wanted to know about the case, it was important that the investigation should not be jeopardised," he said.

Van Giel ruled that the media should not publish the names or take pictures of the suspects.

Police say there is a possibility that there might be more suspects.