Vusi Ernest Mabaso, 27, is accused of killing seven family members from Vlakfontein and burying them inside their house. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency ANA.
The relatives of the seven Vlakfontein family members who were killed and buried in shallow graves are still battling to deal with their grief.

“This case is killing me. It’s tough. What we need are answers so that we can get closure,” said Teboho Lekoetje, the father of the 11-year-old girl who was among the seven brutally murdered.

Speaking outside the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on Monday where Ernest Mabaso, 27, and Fifita Khupe, 61, made their second appearance, Lekoetje said his family was still baffled by the incident.

Mabaso and Khupe face seven counts of murder each.

Lekoetje said Khupe had been in a 15-year relationship with one of the deceased, Mbali Khoza, who was in her fifties.

“I am not sure what led to them to do this. The old man was indeed in a relationship with Mbali. We wish we could get to the bottom of this and know the truth. I am not coping. This has affected me,” he said.

Lekoetje said his family was receiving counselling.

Mabaso’s lawyer William Sekgatja dropped a bombshell when he told the court that his client, a Zimbabwean national, changed his mind and wanted to apply for bail after abandoning it last week while his co-accused forged ahead with his.

Sekgatja didn’t know why Mabaso had changed his mind.

“He is within his right to apply for bail. He didn’t state any reason.”

The court also heard that Khupe has appointed a private attorney.

The courtroom was packed with relatives, community members, ANC Women’s League and media.

Outside court, Vlakfontein residents were chanting and shouting: “No bail!”

Bongani Zwane, a resident, said: “We are here to tell the court that it should make sure these criminals never get bail. They should get double life sentences. We are very angry.”

Nonhlanhla Mathe, 49, from the ANCWL, described the pair as “animals”.

“They committed a crime so they must stay away from the community. They are animals.

“What they did is sad. We are scared as the community. The law must take its course,” she said.

The matter has since been postponed to next week.