More delays in horror beheading case

Slain sex worker Desiree Murugan's mother, Ambi, has yet another wait ahead of her.

The case against the five suspects accused of cutting off her daughter's head was once again delayed on Thursday.

Traditional healer Sibonakaliso Zaba Mbili, 32, who is said to be the mastermind behind the murder, his aid Vusumuzi Gumede, 30, and three minors aged 16 and 17, made a brief appearance in the Durban Magistrate's Court.

The three minors will return to court later this month while Mbili and Gumede will appear again in March.

The adjournment is to accommodate Gumede who has made an application for a legal aid representative and to provide the state with more time to collate outstanding evidence.

All five remain in custody.

Last year, a sixth accused, Falakhe Khumalo, 18, was handed a life sentence after pleading guilty to decapitating Murugan.

During sentencing the court heard that Khumalo had searched for more than a year for a white, Indian or coloured victim after Mbili allegedly promised him a R2-million reward.

In August last year, Murugan's half-naked torso was found in a field at the Shallcross Stadium. She had been stabbed 195 times and was alive when Khumalo and the three youths allegedly took turns to cut off her head.

Murugan, a 39-year-old mother of one, was a drug addict and had turned to prostitution in an attempt to feed her habit.

Her sister Jennet attended court on Thursday.

She was accompanied by a local women's support group who waited outside the court in a show of solidarity.

Jennet said the case was taking a toll on their mother who recently underwent a DNA test to aid the state's case.

"She's not doing well. There have been so many delays, we just don't know anymore. We just want this to be over," Jennet said.

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