Court told hostel stabbing ‘self-defence’

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Durban - The man who stabbed another 14 times at Jacobs Hostel had been under attack and had killed the man in self-defence, the Durban Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.

Zwelethu Madiba, 29, handed himself over to Brighton Beach Police last month after a warrant of arrest was issued for him.

Madiba is charged with the murder of Khulekani Mvubu. It is alleged Madiba stabbed Mvubu at the hostel near uMlazi on Sunday, April 13.

Madiba had allegedly accused Mvubu of having an affair with his girlfriend.

Soon after the killing, police said angry residents had set alight two of the rooms in the hostel – one belonging to the accused and the other to his girlfriend.

During Madiba’s bail application on Tuesday his attorney, Mbongeni Mathonsi, said Madiba was a bouncer at Jacobs Night Club and had five children who depended on him.

Mathonsi, reading from Madiba’s affidavit, said Mvubu and his brothers had come to the hostel to attack him and they were armed with knives.

“I was on the phone with someone who was warning me that the deceased and his brothers were coming to attack me and when I stepped outside to check if they were close, I saw them. They attacked me and I used the deceased as a human shield. I managed to grab his (Mvubu’s) knife and I stabbed him till he fell to the ground,” read Mathonsi.

Madiba fled after the stabbing and was on the run till handing himself over to police four days later.

State prosecutor Rakesh Chitradow, reading from an affidavit signed by the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Van der Looy, said the State was opposed to bail for Madiba.

He said the Jacobs community was “more than outraged” and this was evident in how they took the law into their own hands when they burnt the two rooms.

“The state’s concern is the accused’s safety if he is granted bail,” he said.

Van der Looy’s affidavit told of a different version of the stabbing, saying it had been Mvubu’s ex-girlfriend who had phoned him and asked to meet at the hostel.

“When the deceased got there the accused stabbed him 14 times from behind and the deceased died as a result of his injuries,” read Chitradow.

Magistrate Vanitha Armu granted Madiba R3 000 bail, saying the interest of justice permitted that he be released.

“Outrage at the murder is understandable; however, it is not right to take the law into your own hands by burning down rooms. The applicant (Madiba) can’t be held accountable for the community’s outrage,” she said.

Armu said Madiba could not be kept in custody because of the community’s outrage at the hostel.

“He has no pending cases or previous conviction and he claims the murder was as a result of self-defence,” said Armu.

Madiba’s bail conditions are that he live somewhere other than the hostel and report to his nearest police station twice a week, between 6am and 6pm.

The matter was adjourned to June 26.

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