Durban - The man accused of murdering and dismembering a Maqongqo teenager was denied bail at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday - to the jubilation of a packed court-room and throngs of people who crowded the building in anticipation of the ruling.
Magistrate M Boikhutso refused bail to 21-year-old Siphelele Chamane, who is charged with the murder of Simangele Khanyile, 18.
According to police, they made the gruesome discovery of Khanyile’s body in a field near Tamboville on December 22 last year.
Her body was burnt beyond recognition and cut into pieces, with the limbs wrapped in a blanket. Khanyile’s body parts were found days later in a plastic bag. Her head is still missing.
Days later, Chamane was arrested for the murder.
It is believed that Khanyile was Chamane’s ex-girlfriend.
According to police investigations, Khanyile was stabbed in the neck with a screwdriver and her body was then doused with petrol and set alight.
Police believe that Chamane then used a carving knife to cut Khanyile’s body into pieces, removing the head, hands and legs from the torso. He then allegedly carried the body parts to a secluded bush on a dirt road and abandoned the limbs on one side of the road.
The next day, police were alerted to the body parts by a passer-by.
Refusing Chamane bail, the magistrate said it was frustrating for Khanyile’s family to not be able to bury her body without her head.
Magistrate Boikhutso said it weighed against Chamane that after his arrest he made a confession and pointed out the crime scene to police.
“The State has an overwhelmingly strong case and it is in the interests of justice that the accused stay in custody to await his trial,” she said.
The case was adjourned to March 14.