NATIONAL NEWS - The remaining suspect in the Vlakfontein murder case, Fita Khupe, 61, was denied bail on Monday.
Khupe appeared in the Protea Magistrate to request that the charges against him be dropped in addition to applying to be released on bail.
Khupe was one of two suspects accused of the horrific murder of seven people in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg, in October. His co-accused, Vusi Mabaso, 27, committed suicide in his police cell last month.
Khupe and Mabaso were arrested and not granted bail in December after police sergeant Banele Ndlovu told the two men’s bail hearing it would be a danger to society if they would be granted bail.
The bodies of three adults and four children were found buried under a pile of sand in October 2018.
Officers responded to a complaint from a community member after a resident reported a stench coming from the house. According to police, officers found a pile of sand in the bedroom where a woman and three children were found buried underneath the sand.
“Police proceeded to a backroom in the same yard where three more bodies, two female adults and a child, were discovered and also buried beneath the sand,” said the police’s Mavela Masondo.
Previously, Mabaso, who also faced three additional charges of rape, had asked the court if he could be moved from the Johannesburg Central police station’s holding cells as he had been receiving threats from his co-accused. He was then moved to Krugersdorp Prison.
Mabaso had claimed the killings were a revenge attack on the Khoza family by Khupe.
The court heard that some of the victims were raped and bludgeoned with a hammer, or were suffocated.
The Protea Magistrate Court heard a claim last year from Mabaso that he was allegedly forced to commit the crimes by the older accused, Khupe.
Mabaso told the court he was forced by Khupe to rape the children before he killed them. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and said his family could afford R5,000 bail.