South Africa 20.3.2018 06:00 pm

Two murdered Mpumalanga children, one an albino, to be buried after DNA tests completed

From left to right, Themba Thubane, Knowledge Mhlanga, and Brilliant Mkhize appeared in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court. Standing in front of them is Mzamo Sibisi who represented Thubane and Mhlanga. Picture: ANA

From left to right, Themba Thubane, Knowledge Mhlanga, and Brilliant Mkhize appeared in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court. Standing in front of them is Mzamo Sibisi who represented Thubane and Mhlanga. Picture: ANA

As many as 2,000 people had come to court to protest.

The two children, one an albino, who were kidnapped from their home in Hlalanikahle in Mpumalanga in January and found murdered in February, will finally be buried after DNA tests were concluded, Mpumalanga police said on Tuesday.

Provincial police spokesman Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said the case was being investigated by both Gauteng and Mpumalanga police. He was speaking outside the Witbank Magistrate’s Court shortly after three men appeared briefly in connection with the incident.

“We have consolidated the DNA test processes of Mpumalanga and Gauteng. We are still waiting for the results. We want to make sure that these children are indeed of that [Shabane] family,” said Hlathi.

He said Gauteng police were also involved in the case because the body of the 13-year-old girl with albinism, Gabisile Shabane, was found in Cullinan, east of Pretoria, in the third week of February, with some body parts missing. The body of 15-month-old boy Nkosikhona Ngwenya was found on the side of the N4 freeway in Mpumalanga in the same week.

The children were kidnapped from their home on January 28, allegedly by three men who entered their home after breaking a window.

Hlathi could not confirm whether the family of the children had identified their bodies after they were found. He referred further enquiries in this regard to the family, who could not immediately be reached.

Traditional healer Thokozani Msibi was the first person to be arrested in connection with the incident. He was denied bail by the same court on March 6.

Inside court on Tuesday, magistrate Darleen Venter postponed the matter to March 27 for the accused, Themba Thubane and Knowledge Mhlanga, to bring formal bail applications. Thubane and Mhlanga were represented by legal aid lawyer Mzamo Sibisi. Private attorney Sherman Nkuna told the court that his client, Brilliant Mkhize, would not apply for bail for safety reasons.

About 2,000 people sang and danced outside the court. They included members of the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance.

Tryphina Nhlapho, a Witbank resident with albinism, appealed to members of the public outside the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to accept and treat people with albinism like normal people. Picture: ANA

Tryphina Nhlapho, a Witbank resident with albinism, appealed to members of the public outside the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to accept and treat people with albinism like normal people. Picture: ANA

 

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