Cape Town man accused of killing 17-year-old girl abandons bail bid

Lona Mzingeli, 25, is accused of murdering 17-year-old Amahle Quku last month.
Lona Mzingeli, 25, is accused of murdering 17-year-old Amahle Quku last month.
Image: 123RF/Sakhorn Saengtongsamarnsin

The man accused of killing a 17-year-old girl abandoned his bail bid during his court appearance in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Lona Mzingeli, 25, is accused of murdering Amahle Quku on June 20 in Browns Farm, Philippi.

He abandoned his bail plea in the Wynberg magistrate's court. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the case was postponed until October 6 for further investigation.

Community members found Quku’s naked and bruised body in Albert Luthuli Street in Browns Farm.

Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz said he had requested members of the province’s “court-watching brief unit” to monitor the case.

“[This is] to ensure that each leg of the criminal justice system is operating optimally to ensure that Quku’s murderer is not allowed to roam freely and possibly endanger the lives of others,” he said.

Femicide and child murders dominated South African headlines at the start of the year before the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world’s attention.

Eight-year-old Tazne van Wyk’s murder was the first of four in February. She was murdered on February 7.

Seven-year-old Emaan Solomons was killed in Ocean View on March 25. Public outcry and protest action saw community members torching drug dens in Parow after the chaotic court appearance of her alleged murderer, 51-year-old parolee Moyhdian Pangarker.

Sibusiso Dakuse, 13, was murdered the next day in Hout Bay. 

Reagan Gertse, 7, was murdered in Tulbagh on March 1.

“By convicting the perpetrators of gender-based violence, we send a strong message that you will be caught and you will be prosecuted,” said Fritz.

“To achieve this, we must equally ensure that our SA Police Service officials treat GBV-related cases with the seriousness they deserve and not subject victims to a secondary assault.”

Fritz said he had asked the Western Cape police ombudsman JJ Brand to investigate two cases of “secondary victimisation” by police.

“In both instances, the victims had approached police after allegedly being raped. In the first instance, the victim was told to 'return the next day and not to bath'. In the second instance, the victim and her mother were reportedly pepper-sprayed by police and only attended to the following day by a police officer who was called out from another station.”

He said Brand’s office had agreed to investigate the complaints of police inefficiency.

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