News 19.6.2017 09:31 pm

Bail application of men accused of killing two women postponed

Bongeka Phungula and her friend Popi Qwabe. as they appear on a Facebook profile picture. The two were found murdered in Soweto at the weekend. /Facebook

Bongeka Phungula and her friend Popi Qwabe. as they appear on a Facebook profile picture. The two were found murdered in Soweto at the weekend. /Facebook

The two men, both taxi drivers are accused of killing best friends Bongeka Phungula, 28, and Popi Qwabe, 24, in Soweto last month.

The bail application of the men accused of killing two women in Soweto was on Monday, postponed in the Protea Magistrate’s Court after the magistrate said he needed more time to apply his mind.

Magistrates Herman Badenhorst told the court that the investigating officer’s statement concerning his findings was vague and he needed clarity before making a decision.

Badenhorst was hearing the matter of Alec Magaula MaMothame, 43, and Sandile Nkosi, 25, who are accused of killing best friends Bongeka Phungula and Popi Qwabe.

Phungula, 28, and Qwabe, 24, were reported missing on May 12. Their bodies were later found in different locations in Soweto.

Qwabe’s body was discovered in Naledi. She was found shot in the upper body and was later identified at a mortuary. Phungula’s body was found in Tladi with gunshots in the upper body.

MaMothame and Nkosi who are both taxi drivers were arrested on May 21.

According to investigating officer Walter Masuku from Naledi police station, in his statement he said they recovered a phone belonging to one of the deceased in Nkosi’s possession and other items which the statement failed to disclose.

He also indicated that the firearm used to commit the crimes wasn’t recovered but they believed there might be other outstanding suspects.

Masuku also claimed that they were in possession of forensic evidence which links the men to the crime.

Magistrates Badenhorst questioned Masuku’s statement and said it was inadequate.

“We must know what kind of forensic evidence links these men to the crime, is it blood or what exactly.”

Nkosi’s lawyer Harry Bonnke Maluleke told the court that the bail application should be treated with urgency without any further delays.

“There’s a public outcry and I can’t be rushed in making a decision because of a bail application urgency,” replied Badenhorst.

On Wednesday, MaMothame’ lawyer Themba Tshabalala read out his affidavit where he said that on the evening on May 12, three men in a company of two men got into his taxi. He said the men attacked him and hijacked the taxi.

He said he jumped out of the moving vehicle and left the women with the men in the taxi. He said he’s not sure if the women were part of the plan or passengers.

He said he notified Johannes Mkhwanazi the owner of the taxi about the incident and they agreed to meet at Jabulani police station to open a case.

“I failed to open a case because police delayed in assisting me. I spent almost 30 minutes at the station and nothing was done,” Mkhwanazi said in his testimony.

Mkhwanazi was called in as a witness in the bail application. He corroborated some parts of MaMothame’s testimony.

He said while they were still at the police station, he received a call from the tracking company informing him that his taxi was in Mapetla.

Both men left the police station and went to the scene where the vehicle was found.

“When we arrived at the scene, we found two police men and two men from the tracking company. They said the men who were driving the taxi fled the scene.”

Mkhwanazi said he produced papers proving that he’s the owner of the taxi and then they took the vehicle to the parking area while they were being escorted by police.

When they arrived at the parking area they found Nkosi. Mkhwanazi told the court that Nkosi was the one who parked the vehicle.

Nkosi through his lawyer on Wednesday admitted that he was in possession of the phone and said he found it while he was parking the taxi and took it.

MaMothame and Nkosi have been charged with the murders, robbery and kidnapping of both women.

The matter was postponed to Thursday for further hearings

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