The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
THE family of slain Zimbabwean expatriate Elvis Nyathi has expressed its unhappiness after the seven men accused of his gruesome murder were each granted bail at the Randburg Magistrate Court in South Africa on Friday.
Cedric Raseala (42), Baron Mashele(31), Godfrey Mahlo (31), Thomas Serebane (53), Phumuduza Tshirangwana (38), Thabo Makgatho (32) and Puleng Chipape (34), were each granted R3 000 bail by magistrate Hleziphi Mkhasibe, who said the State was failing to show beyond any reasonable doubt what part each of them had played in the murder of Nyathi.
Nyathi, who was stoned and then burnt to death in Diepsloot by a vigilante group that claimed to be clamping down on crime by foreigners in the community, was buried in Zimbabwe last month.
The murder of Nyathi, who worked as a gardener in Johannesburg’s affluent suburbs, came in the wake of increased xenophobic sentiment in South Africa, with the Nhlanhla Lux spearheaded Operation Dudula igniting tensions between locals and black immigrants in that country.
Speaking to South African media after bail was granted, Nyathi’s cousin, Mr Mphathisi Ndlovu said the family did not understand how bail could be granted to people that were suspected to have committed such a heinous crime.
“We don’t understand why the court decides to give bail to people who (allegedly) killed someone in a brutal way. As the family we are scared,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu also said witnesses who were also attacked during the mob violence and had identified the accused were now back home in Zimbabwe and are scared to return to South Africa.
He also said members of the family still in South Africa were afraid of even following court proceedings in person. Their case was postponed to 7 July.