Cops bungle murder probe
NEARLY a year has gone by, and the family of Mmule Mpakanyane, 86, are still waiting for justice after she was found raped and murdered in her house in Ekurhuleni.
According to her son, Thabo Mpakanyane, DNA which could solve the mystery of the murder was mysteriously “forgotten” in storage for six months at Actonville police station in Benoni.
Thabo said the family first became aware that the DNA evidence of the alleged perpetrator had not been examined by police officials or forensic analysts on the day of the accused’s first court appearance, which was as far back as April 2016.
Also, the suspect was not apprehended by the police, but by a vigilant community member who recognised him.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Mack Mngomezulu said he was aware of the case.
“There was an error internally, but the evidence was eventually taken for forensic analysis. The matter is being investigated,” he said.
Thabo pointed out that the suspect was arrested six months after his mother’s violent death.
“He was in hospital after he was involved in an accident in Witbank, and gave an alias at Tambo Memorial Hospital in Boksburg because he knew he was wanted by the police.
“A community member who had been following the case recognised him and alerted the authorities, which led to his arrest.”
Thabo said they were frustrated when court proceedings, which were supposed to take place on Wednesday in the Benoni Magistrate’s Court, were again postponed to October 17.
He expressed the family’s pain and described the slow pace of the trial as delayed trauma for them.
“We are not doing well; some days we are angry and some days we have hope that the justice system will do right by us. We are being denied justice by all the delays.
“There is never a state of certainty, which has prevented us from properly mourning my mother’s death.
“All we want is the justice system to be effective and efficient in this matter.”
His main concern was whether the evidence was still in a condition to be used in the trial.