Vlakfontein murder accused to apply for bail

FILE IMAGE: Samuel Sibeko,28, appeared briefly in Soweto's Protea magistrate's court on a charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice.
FILE IMAGE: 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 28-year-old man accused of killing and burying his 41-year-old lover in a shack they shared is expected to apply for bail on Tuesday.  

Samuel Sibeko will appear in the Protea magistrate's court on a charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice. He allegedly killed and buried his lover, living with her corpse for two months in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.

The woman, believed to be from the Free State, cannot be named as her family is yet to identify her. During his previous appearance, it was revealed that Sibeko was also sentenced to six months in imprisonment for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.  

He also 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. But, there could be more crimes by Sibeko, including murder, according to his friend Sifiso Khumalo, who said he felt deceived by Sibeko because they spent time with him 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 told Sowetan.

"Every time we got drunk he would tell us that he killed someone in KwaZulu-Natal and three people in Vlakfontein and threw their bodies into a ditch. We don't know if he was telling the truth or not."

Khumalo added he spent about four days of the first two weeks of July with Sibeko in his shack. He said he could pick up that the shack smelled heavily of Jeyes Fluid, a disinfectant.

"I asked him about the smell and he said he was spring cleaning. Then I asked him about his girlfriend's whereabouts, this was on a night in July. "We had been drinking at the local shebeen and went to his shack to finish off our drinks. He became very agitated and dismissed my question by saying she had returned home [in QwaQwa] and that's why he was cleaning."

Khumalo said he would not have guessed that she was buried under the bed. Faith Mazibuko, Gauteng MEC for community safety, told Sowetan she was aware of the claims that Sibeko could be having other crimes to answer to but said the police were yet to verify the details.

Sibeko's sister, who asked not to be named, told Sowetan her brother was abusive towards her and threatened to kill her.

"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 on the yard. "He told me that if I didn't move out, I would leave this house as a corpse."

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. Masondo appealed for the 41-year-old’s family to come forth and identify her as she is believed to have come from Qwaqwa, Free State. 

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