The man who infiltrated the Khoza family in Vlakfontein by pretending to be a long-lost relative‚ and who then allegedly embarked on a killing spree‚ has decided to apply for bail.
The 27-year-old Zimbabwean and his 61-year-old co-accused‚ Fita Khupe‚ appeared in the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The younger man’s Legal Aid lawyer‚ Makau Sekgatja‚ said his client had had a change of heart and now wanted to apply for bail.
The man‚ who had falsely introduced himself to the family as Sibusiso Khoza‚ cannot be named as he is also facing charges of rape.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has alleged that “Khoza” raped three of the family members. The seven family members‚ three women and four children‚ were found murdered and buried in shallow graves inside their home in Gauteng.
Monday’s bail application could not proceed as the state had prepared for an application by only one of the accused‚ while Sekgatja told the court he had not had an opportunity to consult with “Khoza“.
Meanwhile‚ Khupe’s Legal Aid lawyer withdrew on Monday as the accused is now being represented by a private attorney‚ Gerhard Landman.
Landman was ready to commence with proceedings‚ but agreed to give “Khoza’s” lawyer time to prepare.
The court heard on Monday that “Khoza” had allegedly received threats from Khupe.
Magistrate Maggie van der Merwe stressed that while the claim was unsubstantiated‚ she would ensure the pair were separated.
One of the accused is to be held at Krugersdorp prison and the other at Johannesburg prison.
The case was postponed to next Monday when the court is expected to hear statements from the accused.
Khupe and “Khoza” appeared under heavy police guard‚ with the court packed with relatives and concerned residents.
People in the gallery hurled insults at the pair as they limped back to the cells‚ their legs shackled.
“Khoza” was arrested in Mpumalanga‚ near the Lebombo border post‚ where he was found in possession of bank cards belonging to two of the victims‚ Captain Mavela Masondo told TimesLIVE earlier. He also faces three counts of rape.
Khupe was arrested in Dobsonville‚ Soweto.
Both men face seven charges of premeditated murder for what the state claimed was a “well-orchestrated” crime.
TimesLIVE reported earlier that one of the murdered women‚ Nomfundo Khoza‚ had sent frantic WhatsApp messages to her family moments before she died‚ but when they phoned back‚ there was no answer.
Neighbours noticed a stench‚ which led police to the bodies of the three women and four children on October 29.