Joy as Yende murder accused is denied bail
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.