Body of murdered teenager Andile ‘Bobo’ Mbuthu left in Bakkie while killers partied
The seven men accused of killing Andile “Bobo” Mbuthu appeared at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) for their third appearance to appeal bail conditions on Thursday 4 June, with one of the accused having recently been identified as the cousin of the deceased teenager.
Mbuthu, was allegedly killed when a mob of men caught him stealing liquor from a tavern in Tongaat on 27 April and beaten to death, and it was revealed in court on Wednesday that one of the accused, 28-year-old Mlungisi Thabethe, is the cousin of Mbuthu as well as the owner of the tavern.
The court also revealed on Thursday that the body of the 16-year-old may have been left in the back of a bakkie whilst his alleged killers continued to party at one of their homes.
DNA FOUND IN BAKKIE
Six of the accused, Mlungisi Thabathe, 28, Andile Nhleko, 27, Mncedisi Mzobe, 27, Siyanda Msweli, 26, Lindani Ndlovu, 22 and Malusi Mthembu, 27, appeared in court for the third successive day of hearings, whilst the seventh accused, a 16-year-old minor, has already abandoned his bail application during an earlier, private hearing.
Prosecutor Krishen Shah had asked the accused how it was possible that Mbuthu’s DNA was found in the back of a Hilux bakkie belonging to Thabete, and questioned whether the body was there during a braai that was hosted by him to celebrate his birthday.
The accused denied any knowledge of the teenager having ever been in the bakkie. There was a large community presence outside the court, as has been the case for the duration of the trial. Police monitored the group, who protested police inefficiency and the scourge of violence against South Africa’s children.
Inside the court, the family of the deceased listened on in anguish as it was detailed that Mbuthu’s body had decomposed significantly by the time it was discovered in the Wewe river near the village where he lived. Court was adjourned early so that his family could be afforded the opportunity to gather their emotions.
COMMUNITY FIGHT AGAINST BAIL APPROVAL
The tavern where the alleged killing took place was burned to the ground by furious community members in April, and residents have made it clear that they will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the accused are not granted bail.
The body found in the river was only confirmed to be that of Mbuthu weeks after its discovery, with DNA tests having confirmed the tragic news for the family, who laid the boy to rest over the weekend.
The matter will resume on Friday 5 May, when it is expected that a verdict will be handed down regarding the success or failure of the accused’s bail application.
-The South African
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