Byline: Nonjabuliso Nhlambo

29 August 2022

The alleged murders of Mr. Fanie Khumalo who was gunned down outside his home at Kinross in November 2021 have been denied bail by the Evander Regional Court on Thursday, 25 August 2022 after they appeared in the Evander Magistrate court on Tuesday, 11 August 2022 where they were cross examined during the formal bail hearing.

The duo failed to prove to the court that exceptional circumstances exist in order for them to be granted bail and it was decided not to be in the interest of justice to grant them bail.

Vukanini Taxi Association (VUKTA) members came in numbers to picket outside court demanding that the duo be not granted bail.

The duo applied for bail just before the case goes to trial on the 03 October 2022.

Sfiso Vuyani Buthelezi accused number one who was arrested on the 16 November 2022 abandoned his first bail application, Buthelezi was the first to be arrested according to the investigation officer and subsequently made a confession pointing at Khulekani Hlanganani Masondo, accused number four (4) leading to his arrest on the 26 April 2022.

During the bail application it was testified that Masondo and one suspect drew fire arms and started shooting at the police while trying to evade and resist the arrest when the police retaliated and fired back at the suspects.

Masondo was shot on the legs during his arrest which led to his left leg being amputated meanwhile the other suspect by the name Samasca is still on the loose.

It was further alleged that Masondo is applying for bail because he has not been receiving proper health care at the hospital where he has been kept since his arrest.

According to Masondo, people unknown to him came from behind and drew fire arms shooting at him.

He further mentioned that he denied having been arrested before and having any knowledge of fire arms.

State Prosecutor, Adv. Moloto argued that since he had no knowledge of fire arms then how did he know that a gun was cocked and that he had to run.

Masondo responded that he had seen guns on the movies and his brother owned a gun.

Sfiso Vuyani Buthelezi accused number one (1) meanwhile on the witness stand laid his reasons for the bail application and testified that he is a chronic patient who is on Tuberculosis (TB) medication, and that his health was deteriorating while he remains inside.

Upon cross examination, investigation officer Malatjie provided a letter said to be written by the accused’s nurse at correctional services stating that the accused is not diagnosed with (TB) therefore he is trying to mislead the court.

The investigation officer Malatjie pleaded with the prosecutor that the accused must be remanded in custody as their case already has a date at the high court set for October and that it would be a high risk to the state witness, family of the deceased as they now live in fear together with some of the VUKTA association members who are alleged to be on the hit list of the accused.

He further stated that the duo both lied under oath that they denied being arrested before.

The IO provided profiles of both applicants which indicates that they both have been arrested before which they denied having on cross examination, therefore they pose a risk of absconding the set trial date.

The cross examination took four (4) days in court with Vukanini taxi association and community members out in large numbers outside the court chanting with no bail for the accused murders of Mr Fanie khumalo.

“We as the association are pleased with the justice system since our plea was heard by not granting bail to the two accussed persons,” said Mr Fanyana Sibanyoni, Chairperson of Vukta.

Sibanyoni stated further that as the association, they will be there from the first day the matter is transferred to the high court until justice is served.

“We are happy with the prosecutor and the manner in which he handled the case”, he concluded.

Vukanini association members and community of Kinross gathered outside Evander Magistrate Court after the bail judgement