The so-called 'blessers' appear at the Atteridgeville Magistrate's Court on murder and kidnap charges. Picture: Oupa Mokoena
Pretoria - Please tell him to tell these people the truth before we all go to jail for a crime we did not commit.

This was the plea of one of the four men accused of killing 15-year-old Centurion teenager Keleabetse Seleka.

The four appeared in the Atteridgeville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Alleged fraudulent “blesser” John Lebuku 30, appeared for a bail application alongside three accomplices - Leshilo Mashau, 32, Tebogo Mabolane, 26, and Eugene Machete, 24.

The men were denied bail, and in doing that, magistrate S Hitchcock said one of the main reasons for her decision was because the men had failed to show exceptional circumstances warranting bail to be granted.

Hitchcock said the men had also repeatedly lied to the court regarding the circumstances as to why they should be granted bail.

In their applications, they all said in their affidavits that they had children who were not living with them but required financial support.

They said their continued incarceration would be prejudicial to their children's wellbeing.

“All of you said you had children to support but the investigating officer has informed this court that that was not true.

“Only the first accused has a 3-year-old son, not even the two as he had initially said.

“The last accused’s information that he has a medical condition due to a prior operation is also hard to believe as he failed to inform the court of this issue during his previous appearances,” said Hitchcock.

The magistrate added that the men had also deceived the court on their employment status.

She said the last accused had also not told the court about all his previous convictions - he mentioned two while he had five prior convictions.

“You told this court you had two prior matters, but you have five of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, housebreaking, two thefts and another of assault.”

The magistrate said in light of these matters she doubted their credibility.

Hitchcock also noted that as the three co-accused were denying their involvement in the kidnapping and murder of the teenager, Lebuku would have to be kept at a separate facility for his own safety.

It was ordered that Lebuku be accommodated at a correctional facility in Hammanskraal and be transported for appearances for his own safety.

Leaving the courtroom, Mabolane made his final appeal to the court for it to force Lebuku to tell it the truth about how he had killed Keleabetse on his own before they all had to suffer for something they did not do. Keleabetse was reported missing on November 28, allegedly to meet “blesser” Lebuku.

He had gone on to social media to ask for a curvy and chubby woman to "bless".

Police were led to the youngster’s badly decomposed body in a pit toilet in the informal settlement of Mshongoville in Atteridgeville.

Soon after the foursome were arrested. The men allegedly fed the teenager a meal laced with poison.

When it took too long to work, they strangled her to death.

The men are said to have wrapped her body in a duvet and dumped it in a pit toilet.

The matter was postponed to February 24 for further investigation.

Pretoria News