Lawyers' strike delays bail hearing for shack grave suspect

FILE IMAGE: Samuel Sibeko's bail hearing delayed due to lawyer's strike.
FILE IMAGE: Samuel Sibeko's bail hearing delayed due to lawyer's strike.
Image: Tankiso Makhetha

The matter against 28-year-old man accursed of murdering and burying his lover in their shack will have to wait another two weeks before his bail application can be heard. 

Samuel Sibeko, is facing charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice. His matter was postponed due to the nationwide protest by Legal Aid lawyers. As a result, Sibeko’s lawyer was not present in court. 

Magistrate David Mhango postponed the matter until September 2. 

National Prosecuting Authority's Phindi Mjonondwane also confirmed the delay enforved by the lawyers' strike. 

And about the yet to be indentified murder victim, Mjonodwana said: “The police are in a better position to comment on the matter of identifying the deceased."

Sibeko allegedly killed and buried his lover, living with her corpse for two months. The woman cannot be named as her family, believed to be in QwQwa in the Free State, is yet to identify her. 

A police officer close to the matter told the Sowetan that relatives of the deceased have come forth but it had been difficult for them to identify the body.

“We are waiting for DNA results to come back from the labs. There are people who said they believe that the lady could be their loved one, but her body was in a bad state and made it difficult to identify her. So only DNA will determine whether they’re related to her,” said the officer.

Police spokesman Cpt Mavela Masondo said they made the discovery on August 11, following a tip-off from the woman's friend who was worried after she had not seen her friend for nearly two months. 

Masondo said the friend last saw the deceased in June.

In July, she went to the deceased's boyfriend to find out about her whereabouts. 

Masondo said the boyfriend told her that the deceased had found a job and was staying with her employer. 

On August 10, however, after noticing that the woman had not returned home for almost two months, the friend called the police and reported her suspicions.

"Police responded swiftly and approached the boyfriend. Upon questioning the suspect, he pointed the police to a shallow grave inside the shack," Masondo said.

The police's search and rescue team was summoned to the scene and the woman's body was found in the shallow grave.

The man was arrested and is facing a murder charge.

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