Precious Ramabulana’s alleged killer changes plea to not guilty, court hears that he 'raped' a minor too
A Limpopo man accused of murdering 21-year-old Capricorn TVET College student Precious Ramabulana said he intended to plead not guilty to all the charges against him.
In November last year, Ramabulana was found in her off-campus room where she had been raped and stabbed multiple times. She later succumbed to her injuries.
Aubrey Manaka, 28, appeared at the Morobeng magistrate's court on Tuesday where his lawyers revealed he intended to plead not guilty - without giving reasons for the sudden change of mind.
Manaka was arrested at his parental home in Nyakelang Village, where he was allegedly found in possession of Ramabulana’s cellphone, bloodstained clothes and a sharp object.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Manaka was facing five charges: two counts of rape, for the alleged rape of Ramabulana and a four-year-oldin 2014; murder; robbery with aggravating circumstances; and housebreaking with intent to rape.
“During the last court proceedings, the defence was preparing a plea ... he was supposed to plead guilty but yesterday the defence informed the court of the change but argued they won’t be able to state the reasons ... ” said NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.
The matter was postponed to March 30 to allow the director of public posecutions to make a decision, after which the matter would be moved to the Limpopo high court, said Malabi-Dzhangi.
Ramabulana’s death sparked a public outcry, with high ranking officials condemning the “barbaric” manner in which she was killed.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said Ramabulana had a promising future and he was ashamed of how she was killed.
“We are ashamed that as men we seem to have declared outright war against the women of SA. It is This is a shame that a young girl, who had such a promising future, her life had been cut short by a man who slaughtered her like an animal ... we want violence against women and children to be brought to an end.”