Joy as Yende mur­der ac­cused is de­nied bail

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MASABATA MKWANANZI

THERE was ju­bi­la­tion in the Springs Mag­is­trate’s Court yes­ter­day af­ter the man ac­cused of killing Eskom em­ployee Them­bisile Yende was de­nied bail.

Mo­ments af­ter the mag­is­trate handed down his ver­dict, the court­yard erupted in joy as friends, rel­a­tives and sup­port­ers of Yende’s fam­ily sang, chanted and danced. Yende, 30,

pic­tured, was found mur­dered af­ter she went miss­ing on May 17, af­ter leav­ing her Springs home for work in her com­pany ve­hi­cle.

Her body was found af­ter Eskom em­ploy­ees no­ticed a bad smell in the sub­sta­tion where she worked.

Yende’s col­league, David Ng­wenya, was ar­rested af­ter a State wit­ness made a state­ment to the po­lice and he was pointed out in an iden­tity pa­rade.

Yes­ter­day, mag­is­trate Cor­nell Pre­to­rius de­nied Ng­wenya bail, say­ing his ev­i­dence fell short of sat­is­fy­ing the court that ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances ex­isted.

She con­curred with the State’s ar­gu­ment that if Ng­wenya was re­leased on bail, he would evade trial as he faced “the pos­si­bil­ity of life im­pris­on­ment should he be found guilty”.

As she de­nied Ng­wenya bail, the court­room be­came rau­cous as those in the pub­lic gallery cel­e­brated the news. This prompted court po­lice to or­der them to be silent.

Some, no­tably rel­a­tives and friends of Yende, were over­come with emo­tion and sobbed.

The throng then took to the streets and broke into song as they cel­e­brated.

Yende’s mother, Nesta, said al­though she wel­comed the de­ci­sion, she would be much hap­pier when jus­tice was served.

Fam­ily spokesper­son Mbo­neni Yende said: “We are not declar­ing vic­tory at the mo­ment. We are happy though that Ng­wenya was de­nied bail be­cause he was go­ing to in­ter­fere with the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

It emerged in court that Ng­wenya had claimed the Yende fam­ily made phone threats to him, in­clud­ing de­mand­ing to know where he lived and the school his chil­dren at­tended.

The Yende fam­ily de­nied the claims, say­ing this was the first time they had heard about phone threats.

Ear­lier in the week, the court heard that a key wit­ness had told po­lice Yende was killed be­cause she knew of Ng­wenya’s al­leged cop­per deal­ings and was about to spill the beans re­gard­ing this.

The ac­cused, along with two men the po­lice are still seek­ing, al­legedly con­sulted a san­goma “to make them in­vis­i­ble” so the po­lice could not iden­tify them.

The ac­cused and Yende were ro­man­ti­cally in­volved, the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer told the court.

The case was post­poned for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Ng­wenya’s next court ap­pear­ance is on July 17.

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