Two former lesbian lovers dubbed “The Wheelie Bin Killers” will come face to face in court after one confessed to the murder of a grandmother eight years ago.
Mariam Sabera’s murder rocked the Cape Flats in November 2003 when her body was found dumped in a wheelie bin outside her house.
Her suspected killers, Enslin Cupido and Magdalene Marthinus, were arrested and spent a year in jail awaiting trial.
But a DNA cock-up saw their release and police could not pin the murder on either of them.
But now Cupido has confessed to the murder – and she has fingered Marthinus as her partner in crime.
The two are due back in court next week.
For Mariam’s family, Cupido’s confession means closure in the 55-year-old mother’s murder after an agonising wait.
Last week, her family finally got their first taste of justice when Cupido entered into a plea agreement with the State and confessed to the grisly killing.
Cupido was sentenced to 20 years behind bars while her estranged girlfriend, Marthinus, pleaded not guilty and is expected to stand trial next week.
Cops say it has been the good work of Wesley Lombard, a new detective who has been on the case for only a month, that got Cupido to confess.
In court recently, Cupido gave a blow-by-blow account detailing how she strangled Sabera with her bare hands and a scarf before dumping her body inside the bin.
The corpse was found inside the bin by dirt collectors outside her Beacon Valley home three days after the brutal killing.
Mariam’s distraught daughter Ragiema Sabera, 35, poured her heart out to the Daily Voice two days after Cupido’s confession.
She explains that this was the first time she’d heard about her mother’s final moments and why her life ended so tragically.
“For eight years we never had closure… we could never move forward,” she says.
“My mother opened her heart to them and gave them a place to stay in her separate entrance.
“Things were stolen... and she confronted them.
“This was when Enslin choked her to death with her bare hands and then used her own scarf.
“After hearing how she died… I learnt never to do good for people.”
Cops say the case is at a very sensitive stage after Enslin fingered her former lover in the murder.
“She (Marthinus) helped with the killing… she helped to place the body into the bin, this is what Enslin said in court,” says Ragiema.
“And she (Marthinus) even asked family about what to do with a body in a bin.
“During her confession, (Enslin) said Magdalene (Marthinus) was also involved.”
Ragiema recalls the day she saw her mother’s legs sticking out of the dirt collection truck.
She had been celebrating the first birthday of one of her children and when her mother didn’t arrive, she reported her mother missing.
“We waited for her but fell asleep – they say death makes you sleepy,” she says.
“I had a sixth sense that something was wrong because we were like best friends.
“I was called to my mother’s home and when I got there, I saw the rubbish truck.
“The driver of the dirt truck put his arms around me and then I saw her feet sticking out.”
Ragiema says the family was left even more traumatised when cops were forced to transport her body to the morgue in the truck because it could not be removed.
“All I wanted to do was to take her out of there,” she adds.
Ragiema says the case stalled because detectives botched evidence.
“The two were released a year after the murder because of the DNA,” she says.
“Detective Lombard was only a month on the case and he got a confession.”
Blood had been found underneath Mariam’s nails but DNA tests were inconclusive.
“When the police entered her home afterwards, they used a forensic spray and saw blood all over the walls,” she says.
“I asked myself, how could they do this to her?”
Mariam’s youngest child, Zareena, 21, was 14 when her mom died.
“She was such a good person and I don’t think 20 years (in jail) is enough,” says Zareena.
“I had to grow up without my mother experiencing me giving birth and getting married.”
Mariam’s eldest daughter Shahiema Sabera, 40, still recalls where the murder happened.
“It happened in this back room,” she says pointing to the walls that had been covered in blood.
“I just want closure.”
The duo are expected back at Mitchells Plain Regional Court on March 14.
- Daily Voice