Cops bun­gle mur­der probe

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIPHUMELELE KHU­MALO

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.

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