Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, Johannesburg, South Africa.
In a packed Springs Magristrate Court C, the five young men accused of murdering Eudy Simalane appeared this morning before Acting Chief Magistrate Mandla Mthombeni. The five young men, (K. Magabhula, J. Mahlangu, T. Mvuba, T. Pitja and T. Phithi) did not have anything to say to the State Prosecutor’s motion for bail to be denied, following questions by the Magistrate.
In his motivation for urging the not granting of bail, the State Prosecutor stated that although the charge of murder was the one they were appearing on, there is an investigation underway that might bring the charges of gang rape and robbery as well. He further stated that there was also an investigation to charge three additional people accused in this case.
Accused number 5, T. Phithi, the neighbour who was said have left with Eudy from her home the night before her body was found, told the court that he wished to make confession. This was to be completed by the end of today. The same accused stated in court that he is also due to appear in court on the 7th of May on a separate charge of robbery.
Approximately 300 activists from the 777 Campaign to end hate, LGBT people from neighbouring townships, members of the African National Congress, concerned residents of Kwa-Thema and many NGOs and social movement, bearing symbols of solidarity and calling for “justice for Eudy” attended the court hearing and picketed outside the court.
The magistrate remanded all five to remain in custody and to appear on the 13th of May at 08h30 before him to hear the application for legal aid for the four who requested it, and for the other one accused to appear with his attorney.
Representatives of the 777 campaign met with the family after the hearing to brief them on what had transpired. The campaign is liaising closely with all the parties involved to ensure coordination and mobilisation for the 13th of May and beyond.
Updates will continue as they come in.