Family of the uMlazi teenager killed in an apparent bizarre exorcism has expressed shock that bail has been granted to the five people accused of her murder.
The family, who stood outside the courtroom throughout Thursday’s bail application because the proceedings were held in camera as the matter involved a minor, said they had to rely on journalists to tell them what had happened inside.
Journalists were allowed into the court after Independent Newspapers’ attorneys made an urgent application for them to cover the matter as it was in the public’s interest.
Sinethemba Dlamini’s grandmother, Nokulunga Dlamini, 52, said she had once lived with the accused in Umzimkhulu and she had trusted them.
“We thought my grandchild was living with decent people, but she had been living with animals,” she said.
She said Dlamini had been living with her until January when her father took her to live with them in the house he was renting in uMlazi.
It hurt them that, as they were effectively Sinethemba’s parents, they were not allowed in.
“No-one sat down with us and explained why we had to sit outside. We feel as if our rights as a family were overlooked by the court,” she said.
The woman who owns the house that Sinethemba was living in, Mildred Shezi, said she had been trying for three days before her death to get into the house, but she was turned away each time because they were praying. She had been told “the evil spirit” had surrounded the house and would come in if they opened the door.
“On Wednesday I went to the house to check on Sne because her father (was in Pretoria). I turned back at the gate because I heard them praying.”
On Thursday another tenant phoned Shezi to say that she had tried to contact her nephew, but was not able to talk to him as the phone was answered by someone else, who said an evil spirit was surrounding the house.
Shezi said on Friday she went back to the house because all the windows and doors had been shut since Wednesday.
She was told that she could not come in as they were still praying. At 7pm Shezi returned and saw smoke inside, and someone in the house promised they would finish praying that day and then she could come in.
Shezi said at 8pm the tenant who had called her before had asked her if she could get her nephew out of the house as she had been told by neighbours that they could hear things being broken inside.
“I sent my grandchild down there because they clearly didn’t want to let me in, my grandchild came back with the tenant’s nephew. The nephew told us that the women were praying for (Sinethemba) as she had demons and they wanted a pin code from her.”
At 3am she received a call telling her there were police vans outside the house.
“I went there with my grandchild, when we got there the women were out on the street praying and police told me that Sne was inside and she was dead,” she said.
She said Sinethemba was just a shy and quiet child, who one could see just needed some time to get used to the area and the people. - Daily News