The police officer, who allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend and a man on New Year’s Eve at Pienaar in Mbombela in Mpumalanga, has been remanded in custody. He made a brief appearance in the KaBokweni Magistrate’s Court.

Bheki Malinga is facing two charges of murder and one of attempted murder. The case has been postponed to the 7the of January.

The case has drawn much attention from community members of Pienaar and surrounding areas.

They protested outside the Kabokweni Magistrate’s Court, carrying placards calling for the accused not to be granted bail. Inside the court, the gallery was packed.  It is alleged Bheki Malinga’s girlfriend, Goodness Mhaule, was having a conversation with the other victim.

Malinga allegedly arrived and opened fire, killing them instantly. He also shot and injured Mhaule’s brother.

It is also alleged that Malinga, who is a police officer stationed at Kabokweni police station, allegedly used his work firearm to kill the victims.  Goodness’ brother, Elvis Mhaule, says they want to see justice prevail.

“As a family, we are not feeling well. We lost one of the pillars at home, we have a serious problem because she was a breadwinner.”

The community of Pienaar is demanding that the accused be refused bail following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s calls for gender-based violence cases to receive serious attention.

“What has just transpired here has indicated clear evidence that police officers are above the law,  they can do as they please and they can be defended by their so-called colleagues and friends. Postponing this matter to the 7th tells you clearly that it is dealing with tactics, so we want to put on record that the number you saw today is just a drop in an ocean,” says community leader, Themba Mpila.

Goodness Mhaule will be laid to rest on Sunday. The case against Malinga has been transferred to the KaNyamazane Magistrate’s Court for a formal bail application.