18 October 2017

South Africa: Sinoxolo Mafevuka Murder-Accused's Discharge Bid Fails

Two cousins accused of the rape and murder of 19-year-old Sinoxolo Mafevuka, have failed in their bid for freedom after the Western Cape High Court refused their application for a discharge on Tuesday.

The cousins, Xolisa and Athabile Mafevuka, lodged the application, over apparent contradictory evidence, after the prosecution closed its case against them.

The application was made in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

This section may be invoked if it is alleged that there is no possibility of a conviction, or that State witnesses' evidence is of such a poor quality that it cannot safely be relied upon.

Such an application can also be invoked if the court also takes into account the credibility of the State witnesses.

Mafevuka, 19, was found dead in a communal toilet in SST 2 Block, Town Two, in Khayelitsha on March 2, 2016.

She was naked and her clothes had been stuffed in the toilet cistern.

Her murder not only shocked her neighbours, but also led to visits from politicians that highlighted the reality of daily life for people like Mafevuka.

Former deputy police minister Maggie Sotyu and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema were among those who visited her grieving family.

At the time of the murder, the case attracted widespread publicity.

However, aside from the defence, prosecutors and judge, the courtroom has been empty since then.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Source: News24

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