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Three suspects in Bontle Mashiyane murder case apply for bail

State and community to oppose bail

Mandla Khoza Freelance journalist
Slain six-year-old Bontle Zethu Ditebogo Mashiyane.
Slain six-year-old Bontle Zethu Ditebogo Mashiyane.
Image: Supplied

Three of the five people accused of the rape and murder of six-year-old Bontle Mashiyane have made a U-turn and have opted to apply for bail. 

Bontle's neighbour Ntombikayise Ngwenya, her boyfriend and serial offender Collen Hlongwane, their friend Thapelo Ngomane appeared briefly in the Kabokweni magistrate's court on Tuesday. 

Joining them in the dock were sangoma Samuel Tsela and his son Philasande, who are co-accused in the  matter. 

The group are believed to be a syndicate for muthi killings. 

Bontle disappeared on April 30 while playing with friends outside her home at Mganduzweni outside Hazyview in Mpumalanga. Her mutilated body was found 21 days later not far from her house. 

After earlier indicating they would not apply for bail, on Tuesday Ngwenya, Hlongwane and Ngomane told the court they have changed their minds.

Community members, including supporters of the EFF and ANC, picketed outside the court demanding that the accused be refused bail. 

Some were shouting: "Give them to us so that we give them justice". 

Others carried placards written "down with GBV" and "am I next?"

Shortly after the accused were arrest two months ago, some of their houses were torched by angry community members in Mganduzweni. 

The case was postponed to August 12 to allow for further police investigation and for the accused to formally apply for bail. 

Spokesperson of the Mpumalanga police, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said they were anticipating more arrests. 

“As we said more in the investigation is to be uncovered, as the investigation goes we believe there're more suspects to be arrested,” said Mohlala. 

National Prosecutions Authority spokesperson Monica Nyuswa told Sowetan that they would oppose bail bids by the accused. 

“The state aims to oppose bail against the accused. The case they are facing is very serious and they might abscond (if released)” said Nyuswa. 

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