The Lehurutshe Magistrates’ Court in North West postponed the case against Obakeng Segwabe, 19 and Olebogeng Mafora, 21, who are facing five counts of murder, two of violation of corpses and one of defeating the ends of justice.
The case against the duo was postponed to January 31, for further investigations.
On Tuesday, the accused men were scheduled to apply for bail, but they opted to abandon it, North West regional spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Henry Mamothame, said.
“Police reports revealed that the two were initially arrested for the alleged murder of two people after human bones were found in a plastic in the bushes near Mosweu village,” Mamothame said.
“After further investigation and linkages to three decomposed bodies that were discovered between December 2023 and January 2024, and that the deceased were part of the boys that were at the initiation school, three additional charges of murder were added.”
He said the deceased were allegedly starved, and beaten to death. Their bodies were subsequently burnt.
Police investigations, including the identification of the bodies through DNA, were underway, hence the non-disclosure of the deceased’s names, according to the NPA.
“Further investigations also led to the arrest of Koketso Mmutlane, 19, for defeating the ends of justice,” said Mamothame.
Mmutlane allegedly influenced Segabe and Mafora to lie about the legality of the initiation school and its activities - including the deaths.
Mmutlane is expected to appear before court on February 9, after being released on a warning.
In November last year, IOL reported that police in the Eastern Cape were extensively searching for a man who allegedly opened an illegal initiation school where a 20-year-old man was killed.
At the time, police said the victim died at the Magwa tea plantation area.