Protests as family accepts withdrawal of charges against Vlakfontein murder accused
In October last year, seven members of the Khoza family were found dead in their Vlakfontein home - but it was revealed on Friday that nobody will stand trial for the killings which rocked the community.
This comes after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Friday it had withdrawn charges against Fita Khupe, one of two men charged for the murders of the family, whose bodies were found buried under heaps of soil in the family home in southern Johannesburg.
The state said there were no prospects of successful prosecution after Khupe's co-accused, Ernest Mabaso - who had falsely called himself "Sibusiso Khoza" and wormed his way into the Khozas' lives by pretending to be a distant relative - died in prison in January this year.
The Khoza family said they accepted the NPA's decision, but were "hurt" that there would be no justice unless further evidence came to light.
Ningi Khoza told TimesLIVE on Friday that the NPA had spoken to the family about why the charges were dropped.
"The NPA told us that the fingerprints showed only Sibusiso's involvement. They said Sibusiso, had be been alive, would have assisted in the prosecuting of the case. We were confused, but we have to accept," Ningi said.
She said the NPA also explained that the state could not keep on detaining Khupe if there was no evidence against him because he could later sue the state.
"We were hurt, but we believe God is here to help us," Ningi said.
She said the NPA told the family that if there was new evidence that could be presented to show Khupe’s involvement, the state would have no hesitation in taking him back to face the charges.
Meanwhile, following the withdrawal of the charges, residents of Vlakfontein blockaded a road in the area with burning tyres. They are demanding that Khupe remains in jail and that the NPA reconsiders its decision.
Two police bakkies and a Johannesburg metro police minibus kept watch of the demonstrators at 2pm.