Paarl residents protesting outside the Paarl Magistrate’s Court where a man from Mbekweni, who is accused of killing Siphokazi Booi, was appearing on Wednesday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Paarl residents protesting outside the Paarl Magistrate’s Court where a man from Mbekweni, who is accused of killing Siphokazi Booi, was appearing on Wednesday. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Emotions run high as alleged killer of Paarl woman Siphokazi Booi appears

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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Cape Town - There were emotional scenes in and outside the Paarl Magistrate’s Court when a 30-year-old man accused of murdering his 27-year-old girlfriend and then setting her body alight made his first appearance on Wednesday.

Sithobele Qebe, 30, from Mbekweni has been charged with the murder of 27-year old Siphokazi Booi.

His case was postponed until next Monday for further investigation.

Booi’s dismembered and charred remains were discovered dumped at the train station on Sunday after she was allegedly killed on Saturday night.

Qebe was later taken in for questioning.

He had allegedly intentionally killed Booi, as she was going to be a witness against him in a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after he beat her up, last month.

Neziswa Booi outside Paarl Magistrate’s Court. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Qebe was supposed to return to court on October 4, for that case.

The State is going to combine the two cases and would oppose the accused’s bail application.

Mbekweni residents, and activists filled Court A, where Qebe made his brief appearance, while others who could not enter were left chanting struggle songs outside the court.

Booi’s cousin, Neziswa was overcome with emotion during the proceedings and looked on with tears in her eyes as the accused was led down to the holding cells after his appearance.

“I wanted to grab and kill him with my bare hands,” she said.

Her aunt Nontando Booi said that she was happy that Qebe had confessed to them that he killed Siphokazi.

“We cannot change what happened, we are still hurting as a family. We really tried getting Siphokazi out of that abusive relationship but we failed. We want him to rot in jail for what he did,” she said.

Winelands Cluster Community Policing Forum chairperson Dumisani Mziki and community activist Luxolo Mvandaba, the founder of advocacy group, Unmasking Man’s Emotion, drafted and read a memorandum of demands to the control prosecutor Nathan Johnson.

Mvandaba questioned why the Justice Department failed to keep the suspect in custody after the earlier assault on Siphokazi.

“The community needs a response from the department, why they released Qebe from the first time. This could have saved the life of many women, and Siphokazi could be alive,” said Mvandaba.

Johnson said Qebe’s first docket had no history of abuse as the community alleged, and there was no medical report that Booi had previously been beaten and admitted to the hospital by Qebe, and he was the first offender, which made him a scheduled one.

“First offenders if they have no history, and previous convictions, bail normally get set,” said Johnson.

He said they did enquire from the police on whether Qebe had a history of violence, but they received no response.

He said, in the bail application, it was also stated that he had no violent temper, and he was no risk to the community and he can get bail.

When the Cape Argus questioned the police spokesperson Novela Potelwa on how did that happen, she refrained from giving comment on the case.

However, she said the police would monitor court proceedings and give comments at an appropriate time.

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