Itumeleng Makhura and her 11-year-old daughter Tshepang were allegedly strangled by Kenneth Debeila, Makhura’s boyfriend and father of Tshepang, in March this year.
Tshepang, who was strangled to death at the home of Debeila was discovered by community members. Itumeleng was later found under a mattress after a police search.
The 32-year-old, known as “Kenny Majozi”, was on the run and was finally arrested on June 13.
Debeila appeared at Pretoria magistrate’s court Tuesday to face three counts of murder, sexual assault, and robbery in aggravating circumstances. Supporters of Gauteng’s gender-based violence civil rights movement #NotInMyName gathered outside Pretoria magistrate’s court to sing and hold placards and call for bail not be given.
Bonolo Makhura was the aunt and sister of the victim. She said that her mother drove to Debeila after she had not seen her granddaughter and daughter. When she approached his home, he had two bags and a backpack. My mother inquired about his destination and he replied that he would give the backpack to someone.
” My mother knocked on his door, but Tshepang didn’t answer. Only one window opened and the doors were closed. She said that she saw Tshepang lying on a bed with a duvet when they entered the room.
She stated that Tshepang had been found dead in her father’s bedroom when she and Makhura tried to get into the room. We don’t understand why she was in her father’s bedroom that night .”
Makhura claimed the child had been raped, and the sister was strangled beneath the bed. We didn’t realize she was hiding under the bed. We found out late, when the community insisted they want to search his house themselves.”
Secretary-general of #NotInmyname Themba Masango said they were at court to ensure justice is served.
Masango stated that Debeila’s safety will not be ensured if Debeila is released on bail. He stated that bail should be denied to Debeila for his safety and justice. He said that the pain is felt by the entire family.
” We have tried to talk with close family and friends, and we have arranged counseling sessions for others. But that doesn’t help. It does not bring back the child.
“We are hoping justice will be served here so the family can find some sort of healing and closure. The community and the family remain in pain.”
The matter was postponed until July 14 for further investigations.
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