Diepsloot murders: residents call off protests

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Copy of PN E Diepsloot Case1

PRETORIA NEWS

Thokazani Mali, mother of two-year-old Yonelisa, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Diepsloot, leaves the Pretoria Magistrates Court. Photo: Etienne Creux

Pretoria - In a gesture of respect following the death of Nelson Mandela, Diepsloot residents did not protest outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court when the man accused of raping and murdering Yonelisa Mali, 2, her cousin Zandile, 3, and 5-year-old Anelisa Mkhondo appeared in court on Thursday.

Only a handful of Diepsloot residents attended court proceedings. Outside the court it was business as usual, without the presence of protesters and large posters demanding justice for the murdered children.

The 28-year-old man from Alexandra, Joburg, appeared briefly and the matter was postponed to February 6 as the prosecution was awaiting an indictment from the Pretoria High Court. The charge sheet also has to be finalised.

At this stage, the man faces three counts of murder, two of kidnapping and two of rape.

It is alleged that he kidnapped, raped and murdered the Mali cousins and murdered Anelisa in September. Anelisa was found dead on a rubbish dump, and the Mali cousins in a communal toilet in the township on October 12.

The murders sparked fury across the country.

The man did not apply for bail and remains in custody.

Residents have threatened to kill him if he is released.

Robert Baloyi, from Diepsloot, who supported sisters Thokozani and Sisanda Mali, the mothers of Yonelisa and Zandile, said residents decided not to stage a protest as the nation was mourning Mandela. Also, unlike before, the Mali sisters were not accompanied by members of political parties and were not wearing AgangSA shirts.

Thokozani Mali, Yonelisa’s mother, said they would speak to the media once all the court proceedings were over.

Originally, police arrested five people in connection with the cousins’ deaths, but charges against four of them were withdrawn on November 1 as there was no evidence to link them to the crime.

Pretoria News


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