By Kaya 959 News
Twelve men, accused of murdering seven youngsters in an apparent act of vigilantism in April this year, have been denied bail.
The group appeared in the Cacadu Magistrate’s Court in the Eastern Cape.
“Among the accused men, aged between 36 and 63 is the former Emalahleni Local Municipality Ward Councilor, Cecil Hluphekile Bobotyane,” said NPA spokesperson in Luxolo Tyali.
He said the gang was arrested following the murder of seven men, aged between 21 and 27. Four of the men were certified dead on the scene after having been burnt to death by an angry mob on the afternoon of 14 April 2021.
The fifth man succumbed to his injuries in hospital the following morning.
“As the police were busy at the scene where the five victims were burnt to death, they were alerted to two more bodies of young men found hanged at a nearby forest in the neighbouring area of Maqhashu,” Tyali said.
Victims rounded up by mob
SAPS investigations linked Bobotyane, Malibongwe Koki (43), Phindile Mbhadeli (45), Lindelo Maso (56), Bangindawo Nyamela (52), Sabelo Khala (47), Ndumiso Bukwana (37), Malibongwe Mgqeba (48), Bathobele Phangiso (36), Simphiwe Ngungeni (54), Gcinumzi Jordan (63) and Myekeni Matshawule (58) to the murders.
According to Tyali, the men are all facing seven counts of murder, except Maso and Mgqeba, who are facing five counts of murder in relation to the five victims who were burnt to death.
It is alleged that the young men were rounded up and murdered in broad daylight in front of their relatives after they were accused of being behind the killing of at least 12 elderly people in Zingqolweni Village.
However, two more elderly people have since been murdered in that village after the vigilante attack on the seven young men.
Delivering judgment on bail, the acting magistrate, Felicia Spangenberg agreed with the prosecutor, Asanda Ngxafana, that it is not in the interest of justice to release the accused men on bail because they failed to show exceptional circumstances permitting their release on bail as required in law.
The court postponed the case to 20 August 2021 for further investigations.