The Witbank Magistrate’s Court has denied bail to three of five suspects accused of killing a young girl who was living with albinism and a toddler. The fourth, a traditional healer was denied bail last month and the fifth is in custody in Swaziland.
DNA results are still outstanding.
The four accused will stand trial in jail. Their attempts to get bail did not convince the court. They are accused of killing 13 year old Gabisile Shabane and taking her body parts for muthi purposes.
They kidnapped Gabisile and her one year old cousin Nkosikhona Ngwenya whom they mistook for another child in the family who has albinism. The family is relieved at the court’s decision. “I’m happy they didn’t get bail, God answered my prayers. I just wish they can tell us where the missing body parts are so that we can bury the kids. Thank you to the community for their support, “says Gabisile’s mother Anna Shabane.
The court said it could not release the accused as they knew where the victims’ family lived and there was still another child living with albinism at home. It considers them a flight risk and took into account the community’s anger. Over 600 people with albinism penned a petition opposing the release of the suspects.
Gabisile’s headless body was found buried in a shallow grave while Nkosikhona was found in a stream next to the highway.
Police are continuing with their investigations.
“We are busy with investigations and still await DNA results but senior Mpumalanga police are in talks with forensics to try and speed up the process,” says Mpumalanga SAPS’s Brigadier Leonard Hlathi.
The fifth accused, also a traditional healer known as Gamedze, is in custody in Swaziland.
The extradition process is currently under way between the two countries so that he can stand trial in South Africa.
Meanwhile the case is back in court on 1 June.
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