WATCH: Siphokazi Booi’s accused killer was on bail over earlier assault case

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Police allegedly presented Sithobele Qebe, the man charged with the murder of his girlfriend Siphokazi Booi, as harmless and calm before releasing him on bail on another charge.

He had been arrested and charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm after allegedly attacking Booi, causing severe injuries, including to an eye which was to be operated on.

White City residents in Mbekweni discovered the charred body of 27-year-old Booi at a dumping site in Mbekweni, Paarl on Sunday.

Her friends last saw her early Saturday morning apparently arguing with Qebe in his shack. Irate residents demolished his home and set his car alight.

Qebe appeared on a murder charge at the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and his case was postponed to September 13.

The court heard that Qebe had a pending case that was expected to be heard next month, where Booi was likely to give evidence.

Angry scenes outside the court played out as the family, protesting residents and civil society organisations also learnt that the reasons Qebe had been out on bail included that Mbekweni police allegedly believed there was no reason for him to be kept in custody over the alleged assault.

Control Prosecutor Advocate Nathan Johnson said: “In the first docket the police had no history of abuse, although the family and the residents are explaining that there is a history, and it had been reported. Police had no pictures to show as part of evidence, there was no medical report and he is a first offender. If the accused has no previous convictions, the bail is normally set.

"We enquired with police if there was no history of violence, and they said there was nothing, and in the bail information it is also stated that he had no violent temper, no risk to the community and that he can get bail. So we rely on information that police give us," said Johnson.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said: "As the SAPS we refrain from giving comment on cases that are running in court. We monitor court proceedings and give comment at an appropriate time."

Booi’s aunt, Nontando, 43, said they were shocked and disappointed.

“We are dealing with a lot right now because we cannot even make funeral arrangements, a DNA test is expected on Thursday. I’m hoping that with the two cases combined, the case will be strong and bail is denied. Seeing him standing at the dock brought so much pain. It was as if Siphokazi would appear.”

Cape Times

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