JOHANNESBURG, June 23– The Protea Magistrate’s Court could grant two men accused of killing two women in Soweto bail if the State fails to produce conclusive evidence to link them to the murders.
Magistrates Herman Badenhorst said that if the State failed to link Alec Magaula MaMothame, 43, and Sandile Nkosi, 25, to the murders, they would be granted bail. He was speaking after investigating officer Walter Musuku had given his testimony on Thursday.
Masuku is investigating the robbery, kidnapping and murders of best friends Bongeka Phungula and Popi Qwabe.
Phungula, 28, and Qwabe, 25, were reported missing on May 12. Their bodies were later found in different locations in Soweto.
Qwabe’s body was discovered in Naledi. She was still alive when she was found lying next to a road. She was rushed to hospital and died on arrival, she was shot in the upper body and was later identified at a mortuary.
Phungula’s body was found in a dumping site in Tladi with gunshots in the upper body.
MaMothame and Nkosi who were arrested on May 21, are accused of allegedly committing the heinous crime. Both men, who are taxi drivers, claim they are innocent.
During cross examination, Masuku said they found Phungula’s dual sim card phone in Nkosi’s possession and he also gave them the sim cards.
He said there was also body-spray, lipstick, female items and blood spots on the taxi door driven by MaMothame.
Badenhorst asked Masuku what made him believe that the items belonged to the deceased.
“There was a bank document which also belonged to one of the deceased,” Masuku said.
Masuku said they still waiting for results from the laboratory to confirm whose blood it was in the taxi, he also confirmed that they took samples from the suspects to compare the DNA. The firearm used to commit the crimes had not been recovered.
Badenhorst responded: “I need this evidence to conclude on the bail application, because if not, the State’s case is weak and I’ll have no choice but grant bail. I must get evidence which conclusively links the suspects to the crime.”
Earlier, family and friends of the slain females gathered outside court wearing black T-shirts and holding placards #JusticeforPopoandBongeka.
Thembelihle Qwabe, 28, who was staying with the deceased, spoke highly of her late sister and best friend, she said both women were extremely talented and left KwaZulu-Natal to pursue their careers.
“Bongeka even quit her job and sold her car just to come and pursue her love of acting…Now I feel like all those people who were discouraging me about coming to [Johannesburg] Joburg because its dangerous, [they said] I can pursue my dreams in Durban, now they I’ll say we told you so, because now they (Bongeka and Popi) are gone and I’m all alone,” Qwabe said.
MaMothame and Nkosi have been charged with the murders, robbery and kidnapping of both murders.