The family of a Northern Cape teenager who was raped and murdered say that the justice system has failed them “dismally” after the alleged killer walked free.
THE FAMILY of a Marydale teenager who was raped and murdered say that the justice system has failed them “dismally” after the alleged killer walked free.
This after the docket apparently twice disappeared from the possession of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Northern Cape.
The naked body of 18-year-old Thobeka Bosman was discovered under a bridge on October 7, 2018.
On the third anniversary of her death, Bosman’s sister, Shaida Mjandana, said that the family is shocked and upset because they thought that her sister’s killer would have been sentenced and serving time in jail by now.
“My sister was killed a few months after her 18th birthday. The manner in which she was killed was gruesome, as she was stripped naked, strangled to death and raped,” Mjandana said yesterday.
“A suspect was arrested in connection with the case and forensic swabs were taken from my sister and sent for analysis. The DNA results, which were returned on August 12, 2019, linked a suspect to the incident. A second suspect was, however, released as the DNA results did not link him to the case.
“The suspect whose DNA linked him to the case was arrested, but the docket disappeared after he appeared in court. After the original docket disappeared, a duplicate docket was opened on February 16, 2021, and he was held in custody.
“The matter then appeared in the district court on July 19, 2021 and it was referred to the regional court and postponed to August 17, 2021. However, on August 17 the accused was released as the charges against him were scrapped when the court heard that the docket had again disappeared.
“He was released and is currently a free man. We were shocked and disturbed by the ruling of the court,” Mjandana wept.
She added that two other separate rape charges against the accused were also scrapped.
“We cannot understand why the court decided to scrap the other charges too as they are not linked to the case of my sister. This man is now free and we are left with so many unanswered questions.”
Mjandana said the family had made several enquiries to the NPA regarding the matter.
“We have asked the investigating officer about the docket and he said the docket was with the NPA since the suspect had appeared in court. We then asked the NPA and got no answers. We have made several enquiries and even sent e-mails to the NPA about the matter. We only received a letter from the NPA in September, stating that they have received our complaint and are investigating it.
“Until today we have not received any feedback on the progress of the investigation.
“This matter is very puzzling as the docket has vanished two times and nobody seems to be worried that a rapist and killer is now free despite the overwhelming DNA evidence against him. This was an open and shut case as the DNA results positively linked the suspect to the incident.
“What is also worrying is how easily a docket can disappear and nobody is held accountable.
“We have heard of so many incidents where women, children and even men have been killed by people who were supposed to be behind bars. It is heartbreaking that some people have to pay with their lives for the incompetence of our justice system.
“We do not wish any family to grieve in the manner that we currently are. It is also heartbreaking to think that we now have to live with this loss when the person who has placed us in this position is carrying on with his life like normal.”
Mjandana vowed that she would not let her sister’s murder become a “cold case”.
“We cannot just sit back and accept the decision of the court. How do we continue with our lives when the actions of people who are supposed to uphold and institute the laws in the land have failed us?
“We have to get justice for my sister. Someone has to answer for what went wrong and take responsibility for this matter ending in this manner.
“We live in a country where the law favours the rights of perpetrators more than that of survivors and victims. Victims are put through gruelling questioning when they report a crime or when they have to give evidence in court. Other people are sent from pillar to post when they seek justice for their cases. Yet the perpetrators can just walk free by just one ruling and all is forgotten by the courts. It is so unfair.”
The Northern Cape NPA spokesperson, Mojalefa Senokoatsane, said they are investigating the matter.
“As the NPA, we are taking this matter seriously and it is being investigated,” said Senokoatsane.