Community members have threatened to kill the 24-year-old accused who was charged with the murder and rape of 11-year-old Relebogile Segami if he is released on bail.
COMMUNITY members have threatened to kill the 24-year-old accused who was charged with the rape and murder of 11-year-old Relebogile Segami if he is released on bail.
Relebogile’s naked body was found dumped in the veld behind the Northern Cape provincial legislature building on March 31, with a T-shirt wrapped around her neck.
Angry community members on Monday gathered outside the Galeshewe Magistrate’s Court, where the accused, Itumeleng Machabe, made a brief appearance.
“It will be better for his own safety to remain behind bars, but we would like him to be released so that he can be punished for what he has done,” they warned.
Machabe informed the court that he wanted to apply for bail and that he would appoint his own legal representative.
State prosecutor Fatima Monyobo noted that Machabe had a pending matter that he had to appear for on April 25.
“The State is investigating whether the two matters can be combined.”
She requested that the matter be postponed in order to consult with the family of the deceased.
Magistrate Jerry Tsatsimpe stated that a bail hearing had to take place seven days after the first appearance of an accused and he postponed the matter to April 13.
“The matter will be remanded for bail information to be gathered and to allow the accused to appoint a legal representative. He will remain in custody until then.”
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EFF provincial secretary Shadrack Tlhaole called for all current and previous allegations against Machabe to be thoroughly investigated.
“One of the cases has been dragging while forensic evidence is still outstanding,” said Tlhaole.
He also called on Sol Plaatje Municipality to “clean up” the veld behind the Northern Cape provincial legislature. “It has been turned into a dumping site for the bodies of people who were murdered.
“The EFF sends its condolences to the Segami family.”
Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul, along with the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Nomandla Bloem, the MEC for Social Development, Topsy Vilakazi, and senior SAPS officials, visited the bereaved family on Monday.
Saul encouraged anyone with information relating to the disappearance, rape and murder of Relebogile to report it to the authorities.
“I am happy that an arrest has been made and we are fully behind the family,” he said. “I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the news of the brutal and senseless murder.”
He added that he was confident that the matter would be dealt with “in an appropriate manner, with the urgency it deserves”.
Saul advised the community to practise restraint and to allow law enforcement to complete its investigations.
“Communities must work with government to completely stop these barbaric individuals that thrive on the vulnerability of our women and children.”