Petition demands no bail for Vlakfontein 'killers'
Vlakfontein residents in Gauteng have signed a petition, demanding that two men implicated in the gruesome murder of women and children in the Khoza family be denied bail.
Ward 122 councillor Ace Mokoenyane said on Tuesday that 1,200 people had signed the petition.
"The petition is about them being denied bail. They must be denied bail because they are unaccepted in our community ... This came as a shock to all of us, " said Mokoenyane.
He was speaking outside the Lenasia Magistrate's Court, where Fita Khupe, 61, and his 27-year-old co-accused were expected to apply for bail.
Proceedings were delayed on Tuesday morning due to a power outage at the court.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the prosecution team would make a call on whether to proceed with the case after an hour. She said there was a possibility that the case would be moved to another court.
Outside court, a group of community members clad in ANC regalia chanted songs and danced, while an old lady burnt impepho (incense) calling on the ancestors to heed their prayers that bail be denied to the men.
The 27-year-old may not be named because he faces three rape charges, and is yet to enter a plea. The court has heard that both men have submitted statements to the police.
It was also revealed earlier that the two appear to be at odds with each other, with the younger man claiming that Khupe had threatened him.
Vlakfontein residents alleged that Khupe had been involved in a romantic relationship with one of the women who was found killed and buried in a shallow grave in the family home. They had been dating for at least a decade.
The 27-year-old suspect was alleged to have introduced himself to the Khoza family under the false name of Sibusiso Khoza, claiming to be long-lost relative. He got in touch with them via Facebook.
The court has since heard that this was not his real name and he was an illegal immigrant from Zimbabwe. He was arrested while trying to cross the border back to Zimbabwe, just days after the decomposed bodies of the family members were discovered.