A Khayelitsha family says it has lost hope in the country’s justice system after the man charged with the murder of six people in the Enkanini informal settlement was released on R800 bail.
Thando Shuba was arrested following the mass killing which claimed the lives of four young men and two women on March 20 while they were sitting outside a shack.
His release has not only outraged residents and families but also Police Minister Bheki Cele who said he was concerned about the issue. Among the six victims was 22-year-old Nesisa Mazibuko.
Her grandmother Vuyiswa Mazibuko said: “This is heartbreaking and it brings a lot of questions on why a suspect would be released on bail while facing murder charges. We have lost hope and people now do not feel safe at all. I don't know how this justice system works but this is totally unfair because the suspect is capable of committing another crime while out on bail.
“As a grandmother this does not sit well with me because he will never bring my granddaughter back to life. It is mentally killing us to know that the suspect is out on bail and yet still facing other charges. The police and justice system should come up with a new way of making sure that suspects face the law other than being granted bail. Also, there must be tight visibility of police officers in our areas at all times,” said Vuyiswa.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the State had opposed the bail application but the Khayelitsha magistrate had reasons why he granted it.
“We argued strongly against him being released on bail but there was a video which was played in that case which showed that at the time of the shooting, he was in Belhar at his residence and he went to be with his friends. He did confirm that he was in Khayelitsha at a later stage,” said Ntabazalila.
Khayelitsha has seen a number of mass murders in recent weeks with the latest incident involving six people shot dead in Taiwan informal settlement, Site C last Sunday.
In just a month, at least 18 people have been killed in mass murders in that township.
Social Justice Coalition spokesperson Khensani Motileni said: “The high levels of violent crime cannot be read outside of the inadequate public lighting conditions that many informal settlements in Cape Town are confronted with. Through various advocacy interventions over the years, communities in Khayelitsha have illustrated that inadequate public lighting is a security issue. This is moreover demonstrated in the City of Cape Town’s Design and Management Guidelines for a Safer City which states that ‘Good lighting is one of the most effective means of increasing levels of safety and deterring crime’”.
Meanwhile Sipho Mgijima, 25, and Thembani Kobe, 28, appeared at Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court this week in connection with the killing of five people in New Monwabisi Park, Endlovini informal settlement on March 14.
Mgijima was arrested in Cala, Eastern Cape while Kobe was found in Khayelitsha with an unlicensed firearm believed to be the murder weapon.
This brings to three the number of people arrested over the incident. Madoda Zwayi was the first to be apprehended.
Kobe and Mgijima are expected to join him when the case resumes Friday.