Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The community of Umlazi has vowed to ensure that members of a gang that allegedly terrorised the town with rape and murder do not get bail.

Sibusiso Khalazi Mbuthuma, 33, Mzwandile "Tsunami" Miya, 32, and Sihle Siyanda Mzizi, 22, face three counts of rape, one of murder, one of attempted murder, two of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two of kidnapping, and three of housebreaking.

They allegedly conducted a reign of terror across two local townships in February and aare alleged to have murdered iThemba Gospel star Philani "Amen" Mkhanyawo, 35.

The trio appeared defiant in a brief appearance at the packed Umlazi magistrate's court on Tuesday. None showed any remorse, say community members who attended the hearing, who want the three to "rot in jail".

"They took a life that was special to us. We still don't know why," said Mamah Mkhanyawo.

"We are happy that those linked to his death have been arrested. But we do not want them to get bail next week."

Armed police were out in full force around the courtroom when the men appeared as relatives of the victims sang and toyi-toyied outside.

"No bail. They must rot in jail," the protesters chanted.

Mkhanyawo's fiancée Nomcebo Msomi wept uncontrollably when she faced the men suspected of killing the father of her child whom she held in her arms.

"You dogs, you killed my man," shouted the tearful Msomi as Mbuthuma was brought to the court in chains.

Director Phindile Hadebe said investigations were continuing and more arrests were imminent.

Officers confiscated eight cellphones, two pistols, a shotgun, four rounds of ammunition, three watches, clothing, CDs and tackies from the men. Two of the cellphones have already been identified by victims of the attacks.

Their bail application was set for next Tuesday, but will be opposed by the State.