Vlakfontein murder suspect 'too ill' to apply for bail

05 December 2018 - 12:17 By Naledi Shange
The prime suspect in the murder of seven women and children in Vlakfontein during an earlier court appearance.
The prime suspect in the murder of seven women and children in Vlakfontein during an earlier court appearance.
Image: Naledi Shange

The bail application of two men implicated in killing the Khoza family, whose bodies were found in their Vlakfontein home in October, was on Wednesday hanging in the balance.

One of the accused, a man who falsely called himself "Sibusiso Khoza" was absent from proceedings at the Protea Magistrate's Court after his lawyer said the 27-year-old was extremely ill and being treated at a prison hospital.

The man's full name is known to TimesLIVE, but cannot be revealed as he is facing a sexual offenses charge to which he has not yet pleaded.

Proceedings were postponed on Tuesday to allow him to seek medical attention. His lawyer Makau Sekgatja said he had been ill and was in pain.

"I've been told that he has pains and has been collapsing. It is better for him to see a medical practitioner," Sekgatja told the told on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the court heard that his condition was "still the same if not worse".

Sekgatja said he was awaiting his client's arrival, along with a medical certificate from the facility where he was being kept.

Gerhard Landman, representing co-accused Fita Khupe (who can be named as he is not facing a sexual abuse charge), asked for the bail hearing to continue.

"I am going to object to any further postponements," he said.

Landman argued that his client was being prejudiced and the delays had financial implications.

Prosecutor Tumi Maunye was concerned about continuing without Khoza, saying he had made damning accusations against Khupe.

In an affidavit submitted to court earlier, Khoza alleged that Khupe was linked to a gang that had kidnapped him and threatened him into carrying out the family murders.

He alleged that Khupe had been there and had ordered him to rape and kill the seven women and children.

Khoza said he feared Khupe and asked that they be separated as the 61-year-old was allegedly threatening him.

Khupe, however, has denied all the allegations.

The matter has since stood down to allow for Khoza's medical certificate to be brought to court.

Sibusiso Khoza is not the accused's real name - it was a fake identity he presented to the Khoza family, claiming to be a long-lost relative.

TimesLIVE has chosen not to use his real name until he has pleaded to the rape charges.

In an affidavit he acknowledged raping three of the Khoza family members but stated that he intended to plead not guilty to all the charges he faces. He claims that he was forced into committing the crimes by Khupe and his associates.

Khupe was in a long-term relationship with one of the Khoza women. While he has denied any involvement in the murders, the investigating officer said that despite Khupe being out of the country at the time of the murders, cellphone records showed that Khoza was the first person he contacted upon his return.

He made no effort to contact his lover. 

The bail application continues.