Lesbian killing: two go free
September 8, 2011 00:41
Nine men stood trial for her 2006 murder in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Each of them was charged with two counts of attempted murder and one of murder.
Last month, lawyers for Lubabalo Ntlabathi, Sabelo Yekiso, Anele Gwele, Mbulelo Damba, Sicelo Mase, Luyanda Londzi, Zolile Kobese, Themba Dlephu and Mfundo Kulani asked the Khayelitsha Regional Court to drop all charges on the grounds that the state's evidence was "poor".
Magistrate Raadiyah Wathen said yesterday that the state had failed to prove that they had assaulted Nkonyana's friends, Zolani Phatho and Philiswa Magxala, on the night of the murder. He withdrew the attempted murder charges against all the accused.
But only Gwele and Kobese were successful in having the murder charges against them dropped. Their lawyers argued that witnesses had contradicted each other. Wathen found that the state had failed to link them to the murder.