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Mamelodi family of murdered mother and child want no bail for suspect

21 June 2022 - 16:26
Protesters outside the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Tuesday, where Kenneth Debeila made his second appearance on charges of murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Protesters outside the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Tuesday, where Kenneth Debeila made his second appearance on charges of murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Image: Shonisani Tshikalange

The family of a murdered Mamelodi mother and daughter say they are in pain and want the alleged perpetrator to face the full might of the law.

Itumeleng Makhura and her 11-year-old daughter Tshepang were allegedly strangled by Kenneth Debeila, Makhura’s boyfriend and father of Tshepang, in March this year.

Tshepang was found strangled and bleeding at Debeila’s home, while Itumeleng was found days later under a bed when community members conducted a search.

The 32-year-old, known as “Kenny Majozi”, was on the run and was finally arrested on June 13.

Debeila made his second appearance at the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Tuesday, facing three charges of murder, rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Singing and holding placards outside the courthouse, supporters of the Gauteng gender-based violence (GBV) civil rights movement #NotInMyName demonstrated and called for the suspect not to be granted bail.

Bonolo Makhura, sister and aunt of the deceased, said her mother went to Debeila’s home after not seeing her daughter and granddaughter.

“When she was at the corner approaching his house, he was leaving and holding two bags and a backpack. When my mother asked where he was going, he said he was going to give the bags to a guy.

“My mother went to his house and knocked, but Tshepang wasn’t answering. The doors were locked and only a window was open. When they went to the window they saw her on the bed covered by a duvet,” she said.

She said when they managed to enter, Tshepang was allegedly found dead on her father’s bed. “We don’t know why she slept in her father’s room alone that night.”

Makhura alleged the child had been raped and her sister was found strangled under the bed. “She was under the bed and we didn’t know she was there. We found out late, when the community insisted they want to search his house themselves.”

Protesters outside the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Tuesday, where Kenneth Debeila made his second appearance.
Protesters outside the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Tuesday, where Kenneth Debeila made his second appearance.
Image: Shonisani Tshikalange

Secretary-general of #NotInmyname Themba Masango said they were at court to ensure justice is served.

Masango said if bail is granted to Debeila, his safety would not be guaranteed. “For his sake and for him to face full justice, the honourable court should not grant bail,” he said.

He said the family and the community are in pain.

“We have spoken to some family members and close friends and arranged counselling sessions for some of them, but that does not help. It does not bring the child back.

“We are hoping justice will be served here so the family can find some sort of healing and closure. The community and the family remain in pain.”

The matter was postponed until July 14 for further investigations.

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