Anger as rape, murder suspect released in KZN
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DURBAN - THE ANC Women’s League in KwaZulu-Natal has demanded to know the kind of analysis used by the courts in handling gender-based violence (GBV) cases.
This followed the National Prosecuting Authority’s official response on the release of a suspect, in the rape and murder case of Hammarsdale teen Sbahle Luyanda Ndlela earlier this month, at the Hammarsdale Magistrate’s Court.
Luyanda was allegedly raped and strangled about two weeks ago, in front of her siblings. Her mother’s ex-boyfriend was arrested, detained for a few days, and later released.
The provincial director of public prosecutions, Advocate Elaine Zungu, said the matter was not enrolled in court because of insufficient evidence.
“Investigations are ongoing,” said Zungu. ANC Women’s League provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Gabela said they were unhappy with the way courts handled GBV cases.
“We want to know what analysis they use for evidence. The incident happened in front of other kids, so what evidence are the courts looking for, if an eyewitness is not good enough for them? We have too many cases of murder, especially of women, that have not been prosecuted. We are fed up,” she said.
Last week, the league – led by its president Bathabile Dlamini – marched with community members to the Hammarsdale Magistrate’s Court, where they handed over a memorandum.
They demanded that Justice Minister Ronald Lamola institute a probe against the court for its failure to prosecute suspects. This after the suspect’s home was torched by angry residents who had seen him being released from police custody.
In a memorandum, the community demanded that the presiding magistrate in the matter be put on special leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“We have quite a number of unsolved cases and relatives of the victims who were not given any feedback. Criminals are loitering on our streets, posing a great threat to the community. Your failure to prosecute has created a safe haven for criminals,” the memorandum read.
Sbahle’s mother, Smangele Ndlovu, 31, could not be reached for comment.
Following her daughter’s murder, Ndlovu claimed the suspect, who, she broke up with three years ago, had a history of being abusive.
She had a protection order against him, obtained in 2018, and three cases against him, of assault with an intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Police confirmed the protection order and the assault cases.