Eskom load shedding on Thursday delayed the bail hearing of two suspects, 27-year-old Vusi Ernest Mabaso and 61-year-old Fita Khupe, who are jointly accused of the murder of seven members of the Khoza family at their Vlakfontein home.
The bodies of the deceased – among them four children – which were concealed under piles of sand inside the house, where discovered after neighbours raised the alarm over a foul smell that was coming from the Khoza’s house.
The shocking case which was moved from Lenasia Magistrate’s Court to Soweto’s Protea Magistrate’s Court because of power outages was again hamstrung by electricity problems on Thursday.
The bail hearing eventually started three hours later with the resumption of cross-examination of the investigating officer Banele Ndlovu by Gerhard Landman, who is the lawyer for the older accused, Khupe.
But it was soon postponed to after lunch because of load shedding.
“The matter cannot proceed without electricity, so let’s wait until 1 o’clock then if it doesn’t come back we will postpone,” said Magistrate David Mango.
Disappointed by the lack of progress, protesting community members who were demanding justice outside the court disappeared after hours of waiting.
On Tuesday, the matter was postponed because one of the accused fell ill. The following day the matter could not be heard because of load shedding.
In earlier evidence, Mabaso, who claims he was a teacher before he went to prison for car theft, said his co-accused, Khupe, made him rape one of the children while he watched. Mabaso said he suffocated his victim to death.