Eudy Simelane case update 7 Oct 08

7 October 2008

CASE INTO THE MURDER OF EUDY SIMELANE GOES TO DELMAS REGIONAL COURT IN 2009

The five men arrested for killing Eudy Simelane on 28 April 2008 re-appeared today at the Springs Magistrate Court.

Before Magistrate Mr. J. Mokoma, the Springs Prosecutor Mr E. Maloba presented the instructions from Mr E.M. Matsane of Transvaal Director of Public Prosecution in Pretoria as follows:

i. All charges against Tsepo Pitja – accused number 4 – are withdrawn and he is free to go;

ii. The four co-accused to appear for trial at the Delmas Regional Court on 11, 12 and 13 February 2009;

iii. They are remanded to stay in custody until the conclusion of trial; and

iv. That the charges against them include murder, two counts of robbery and ‘other’.

The news was met with mixed emotions. Many of the activists who gathered to picket outside the court expressed outrage that Tsepo Pitja, who was one of the men who picked Eudy up from her home the Sunday before her body was found, had been set free. One activist who did not want to be named cried saying “he knows most of us. He is a known rapist and now we are scared that he will be outside and target us like they did to Eudy.”

According to Phumi Mtetwa of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, she understood that the DPP saw no sufficient information to charge Pitja and that he would collaborate with the State during trial. She welcomed that the case has been referred to a high court but that it would have been better if the dates were sooner.

Captain Dube of the Kwa-Thema Police re-assured picketers that the State’s case and investigation had been thoroughly handled and that these developments are only to ensure that justice is served and that the perpetrators are tried and convicted.

The family was saddened by the release of Pitja, a known neighbor to them, who they had seen as key into the events that led to the killing of their daughter. Mrs. Mally Simelane said that she just wants this trial to be over and have closure for her family. “God is there and knows the killers. They must go to trial and be sentenced for many years. My daughter is gone but I know that she will not rest until she has her justice.”

Despite these developments LGBT activists are committed to organise activities in and around Kwa-Thema with the Equality Project, local structures such as the ANC, TAC and others to continue raising awareness on hate crimes, violence and the rights of everyone to live in safe communities.

Mobilizations to ensure that masses also attend the trial next year are underway and a possibility to bring an Amicus Curie (friend of the court application) is being considered.

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Posted on 7 October 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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