No bail for four people accused of murdering Prince Lethukuthula Zulu
Only one of the five accused was granted bail in court on Monday
The Randburg magistrate’s court has granted bail to only one of the five people accused of murdering Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s son, Prince Lethukuthula Zulu.
Security guards found the 50-year-old dead at his home in a Northwold, Johannesburg, residential complex on November 6.
Tshefogatso Moremane, 30, Margaret Koaile, 42, Portia Mmola, 28, Gontse Tlhoele, 30 and Dakalo Mbedzi, 32, stand accused of Zulu's murder.
Delivering bail judgment on Monday, magistrate Hleziphi Mkhasibe said there was a possibility that the case against Mbedzi might be weak and he could be given the benefit of doubt during trial.
“The court’s finding is that the interests of justice permit the release on bail of the fifth applicant. Bail is granted in the amount of R3,000,” she said.
However, bail was denied to the remaining accused, with the court finding that there was a strong case against Moremane, Koaile, Mmola and Tlhoele.
Mkhasibe said the four accused did not have immovable assets and, therefore, could up and leave when it was convenient for them.
“There is likelihood that the applicants may undermine the criminal justice system, as they committed the offence while they were out on bail,” the presiding officer said.
She added that there was likelihood that the accused would endanger the safety and wellbeing of men whose intention was to have a good time at entertainment establishments.
“This court has a legal duty to protect vulnerable members of our society.”
Mkhasibe said while she did not judge the accused for being sex workers, she was against their “unlawful” actions.
She said while the state had alleged that Moremane was a violent person as she had a pending case of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, there was no evidence to prove that she had a violent nature.
“I beg to differ with the state’s argument because it is not supported by evidence. We do not know the facts of the pending matter,” Mkhasibe said. “We cannot deduce that the applicant is a violent person in nature.”
She dismissed the state’s argument that Moremane was trying to evade arrest as the police struggled to locate her to serve her with a summons to appear in court.
“She was not aware that she was wanted or sought. I’m not in a position to assume that she did not want to be found when she was not aware of the charges against her.”
The court found Koaile to be untruthful as she failed to disclose during her bail application that she had a previous conviction.
“She has failed to play open cards with the court. She was not mistaken when she downplayed her previous conviction of robbery to theft,” Mkhasibe said.
In dismissing Koaile’s bail application, Mkhasibe relied on her confession that they spiked Zulu’s and his friend’s drinks on the night of the incident.