News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday April 21st 2018

Lesbian killing escapees could evade charges

Activists from the 07-07-07 campaign light a candle in memory of Zoliswa Nkonyana who was murdered, allegedly for being a lesbian, in Khayelitsha on February 4, 2006. Photo: Sandiso Phaliso/WCN

Charges of escaping in custody leveled against four men who are also accused of murdering Zoliswa Nkonyana because she was a lesbian, could be withdrawn after three policemen failed to appear as state witnesses for the case on Wednesday.Accused Sicelo Mabe, Zolile Kobese, Sabelo Yekiso and Mfundo Kulani were to appear with five other men in the Khayelitsha Regional Court in September on charges related to the 2006 murder of Nkonyana.

It is alleged that shortly after the murder case was postponed, the four escaped from the court holding cells. Bail for eight of the accused had been denied and they had been in custody since their arrest in February 2006.

Following their escape, they were arrested days later in a flat in Wynberg.

As a result of the escape a court orderly has faced a disciplinary hearing and another orderly faces charges of “aiding and assisting in the escape of persons in custody,” confirmed Khayelitsha police spokesperson Anneke van der Vyver.

But the absence of the three policemen who are to act as state witnesses could scupper the case relating to their escape.

State prosecutor Heinrich Solomons told presiding magistrate Robert Matshikwe that he had repeatedly been told by the investigating officer that the witnesses would be present during proceedings to testify against the accused.

Solomons said he would contact the investigating officer so he could trace the witnesses.

Matshikwe set a final date for January 19 next year for the tracing of the witnesses, meaning that if they did not appear on the day the case would be dropped.

Following their escape, a police investigation led to court orderlies being allocated from police stations “within the cluster network”, said van der Vyver, and the allocation of two additional officers at the Khayelitsha courts for “command and control” purposes.

She said the exact number of transferred court orderlies would not be made known for security reasons.

“We can however confirm that the members who left the premises were all replaced. At this stage, a disciplinary investigation is underway as allegations were made of alleged involvement of court orderlies in the incident.”

She said a charge of ‘aiding and assisting in the escape of persons in custody’, were being investigated.

Additionally, a policy of rotating putting court orderlies on a six month rotation has been implemented, she said. – Sandiso Phaliso, West Cape News

Tags: Khayelitsha, lesbian, wynberg, Zoliswa Nkonyana

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One Response to “Lesbian killing escapees could evade charges”

  1. ludwe says:

    wht happened to this case

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