Vlakfontein murders: Man accused of killing 7 family members wants bail

12 November 2018 - 12:54 By Naledi Shange
Police keep watch in a packed Lenasia Magistrate’s Court where two men appeared Monday in connection with the murder of three women and four children in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.
Police keep watch in a packed Lenasia Magistrate’s Court where two men appeared Monday in connection with the murder of three women and four children in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.
Image: Tankiso Makhetha, SowetanLIVE

The man who infiltrated the Khoza family in Vlakfontein by pretending to be a long-lost relative, then allegedly embarked on a killing spree, has decided to apply for bail.

The 27-year-old Zimbabwean and his 61-year-old co-accused, Fita Khupe, appeared in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The younger man’s Legal Aid lawyer, Makau Sekgatja, said his client had had a change of heart and now wanted to apply for bail. 

The man, who had falsely introduced himself to the family as Sibusiso Khoza, cannot be named as he is also facing charges of rape.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has alleged that "Khoza" raped three of the family members. The seven family members, three women and four children, were found murdered and buried in shallow graves inside their home in Gauteng.

The bail application for one of the two suspects implicated in the murder of seven family members in Vlakfontein was postponed on Monday November 12 2018 as the first accused, a 27-year-old Zimbabwean man who had initially refused to apply for bail, has changed his mind and now wants bail as well.

Monday’s bail application could not proceed as the state had prepared for an application by only one of the accused, while Sekgatja told the court he had not had an opportunity to consult with "Khoza".

Meanwhile, Khupe’s Legal Aid lawyer withdrew on Monday as the accused is now being represented by a private attorney, Gerhard Landman.

Landman was ready to commence with proceedings, but agreed to give "Khoza’s" lawyer time to prepare. 

The court heard on Monday that "Khoza" had allegedly received threats from Khupe.

Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe stressed that while the claim was unsubstantiated, she would ensure the pair were separated.

One of the accused is to be held at Krugersdorp prison and the other at Johannesburg prison.

The case was postponed to next Monday  when the court is expected to hear statements from the accused.

Khupe and "Khoza" appeared under heavy police guard, with the court packed with relatives and concerned residents.

People in the gallery hurled insults at the pair as they limped back to the cells, their legs shackled.

People in the gallery hurled insults at the pair as they limped back to the cells, their legs shackled.

"Khoza" was arrested in Mpumalanga‚ near the Lebombo border post‚ where he was found in possession of bank cards belonging to two of the victims‚ Captain Mavela Masondo told TimesLIVE earlier. He also faces three counts of rape.

Khupe was arrested in Dobsonville, Soweto.

Both men face seven charges of premeditated murder for what the state claimed was a "well-orchestrated" crime.

TimesLIVE reported earlier that one of the murdered women‚ Nomfundo Khoza‚ had sent frantic WhatsApp messages to her family moments before she died‚ but when they phoned back‚ there was no answer.

Neighbours noticed a stench‚ which led police to the bodies of the three women and four children on October 29.

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