Slain Khayelitsha teen Sinoxolo may have known her assailants
Mafevuka, 19, was found dead on March 2 in a communal toilet about 150m from her home in SST informal settlement, half-naked, with her head shoved into a toilet bowl.
Two relatives, aged 21 and 26, appeared in the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court on murder and rape charges on Tuesday.
Magistrate Xolani Menyiwe remanded the suspects until Thursday next week (March 24) for the police to determine whether they have any pending cases or previous convictions. Menyiwe issued a stern warning that the accused’s names and addresses should not be publicised for their safety’s sake. They are yet to apply for bail.
Mafevuka’s cousin, Sibongiseni Nzima, said the Mafevuka could have known her alleged killers.
“The accused men are neighbours,” said Nzima. “I have seen them in the neighbourhood before. They live very close”
Thabo Nogemane, the lawyer representing the two men, said they intended pleading not guilty. He said they had no previous convictions and pending cases.
Police have been criticised in the way they have handled Mafenuka’s case in comparison to the rape and murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger, who was killed last Monday while jogging in the upper middle class area of Tokai Park.
Police used the signal from her stolen iPhone to track down four suspects within 36 hours. The suspects were hauled before the Wynberg Magistrates’ Court within less than four days later.
According to Nzima, police only took statements from the family after Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu’s intervention last Thursday. Sotyu lashed out at the police and said their handling of the case could be misconstrued to mean that “black lives are not valuable.”
Video of protesters striking outside the court