847 18.10.2013 Mother holding a kid at Diepsloot gathering in the local police station to hand over the memorandum to the station commander, after the recent killing and raping of two toddlers. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng

 

Relatives of the four men facing charges for the rape of Diepsloot cousins Zandile, 2, and Yonelisa Mali, 3, say they do not believe the men who stood in the dock of the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court yesterday were the ones who kidnapped, raped and murdered the girls.

The murders sparked fury across the country and residents of Diepsloot took to the streets in protest after the bodies of the girls were found in a toilet cubicle on Tuesday morning.

The girls went missing on Saturday.

The accused are each facing two counts of kidnapping, rape and murder.

One of the family members, who asked not to be named for his own safety, said they would continue to attend the court proceedings and to support the suspects.

“We have to come. I don’t believe anything. These guys work hard and could not have done it,” he said.

Magistrate Len Muller explained the severity of the charges to the suspects, aged between 25 and 53, and asked whether they would represent themselves or apply for legal aid.

All four indicated they would apply for legal aid representation and the matter was postponed to give legal aid time to appoint a representative.

Chief prosecutor Matric Luphondo, who is handling the matter, also informed Muller of the fifth suspect and suggested the postponement would allow time for the 29-year-old to appear in court should the matters be combined thereafter.

The fifth suspect will appear in court on Monday. - Saturday Star