Sister of shack grave accused says suspect is "sweet"

Samuel Sibeko,28, appeared briefly in Soweto's Protea magistrate's court on a charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice
Samuel Sibeko,28, appeared briefly in Soweto's Protea magistrate's court on a charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice
Image: Tankiso Makhetha

The sister of a Vlakfontein man who allegedly killed his lover and buried her remains in a shallow grave in their shack says the incident has left her family ashamed.

Samuel Sibeko,28, appeared briefly in Soweto's Protea magistrate's court on a charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice on Tuesday. He was also sentenced to six months imprisonment for assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

He told the court that he would not require the assistance of a lawyer and would represent himself because only he knew what happened. However, he later conceded that he needed a lawyer. He allegedly killed and buried his lover, living with her corpse for two months.

The woman cannot be named as her family is yet to identify her. Sibeko's sister, who asked not to be named, said: “As a mother it was hurtful to learn that’s what he [allegedly] did. It made me ashamed.”

She revealed how her brother kicked her out of their family home in February this year.

“He used to verbally abuse me after our parents passed on. In February he kicked me out of our family home and rented it out and built a shack in the yard. He told me that if I didn’t move out, I would leave this house as a corpse.”

She said she attended court proceedings as an observer and that she did not know the deceased. She described her brother as a sweet person who had a short fuse when drunk. Sibeko was jeered and insulted by angry residents who were in attendance.

Magistrate David Mhango postponed the matter for formal bail application on August 20. Sifiso Khumalo, Sibeko’s friend, said he felt deceived by the 28-year-old because they spent time in the shack since the woman’s disappearance.

“We hung out together and I never suspected that she was dead. I asked him where she was and he said she went home,” Khumalo said.

Sibeko was arrested on Sunday after community members tipped off the police that he allegedly confessed to murdering the woman.

“Every time we got drunk he would tell us that he killed a person in KwaZulu-Natal and three people in Vlakfontein and threw their bodies in a ditch. We don’t know if he was telling the truth or not,” Khumalo added.

Faith Mazibuko, Gauteng MEC for community safety, said she was aware of the claims but that police were yet to verify the details.

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