Bail denied for husband accused of killing wife and burying her under bathtub
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Pretoria – The prosecution team in the murder case against 43-year-old Eastern Cape man Yibanathi MacGyver Ndema has successfully dismantled his bid for release on bail after he was arrested and charged for killing his wife and burying her under a bathtub in their home.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Eastern Cape spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the Butterworth Magistrates’ Court refused bail to Ndema, who is charged with premeditated murder and defeating the ends of justice.
“It is alleged that Ndema killed his wife, Noluvuyo Nonkwelo (36), at their marital home at Zingqayi area in the district of Butterworth on 1 July 2019. On 3 July 2019, he reported his wife as a missing person to the police, even though he knew that was not true,” said Tyali.
Ndema was arrested in August after Nonkwelo’s remains were found buried underneath a bathtub in the bathroom of the house the couple shared.
“The couple’s children alerted their grandparents that since their mother’s disappearance, the bathtub had been repositioned. That prompted the police to search Ndema’s home, leading to the discovery of the remains buried along with hospital cards with pregnancy results bearing the names of the deceased,” said Tyali.
DNA results have since confirmed that the remains are of Nonkwelo, and the remains have since been released to her family for a dignified burial.
During a second court appearance in September, Ndema abandoned his bail application, but at a later stage, the NPA said he made a U-turn.
“His attorney contended that the charge is a schedule 5 offence, meaning it was not premeditated murder. Ndema also distanced himself from a confession he made to the police, admitting that he had murdered his wife because she was having an extramarital affair,” said Tyali.
State prosecutor Andile Tembani submitted confirmation from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to the effect that Ndema’s alleged offence is a Schedule 6 offence, which was accepted by the court.
The court has also heard that the late wife, Noluvuyo Nonkwelo, once opened a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm against Ndema and was granted a protection order in January 2019. Both the case and the protection order were later withdrawn.
Delivering judgment on bail, Magistrate Lundi Qangule agreed with the prosecutor that releasing Ndema on bail would not be in the interest of justice and society.
The court said Ndema had failed to show exceptional circumstances permitting his release on bail, as required in a bail application for a Schedule 6 offence. The court also found that the State has a strong case against Ndema.
The case has been postponed to January 2022 for further investigations and for arrangements to be made for the case to be moved to a superior court.