Rhodes murder accused bail hearing postponed

A Rhodes University student accused of orchestrating the brutal torture and murder of a Grahamstown man he suspected of stealing his laptop will have to wait until Thursday to hear if he will get bail.
Magistrate Lindelwa Figlan told third-year anthropology and Xhosa student Thembani Onceya she was not ready to make a ruling.

Thembani Onceya in court. Picture: FILE
Thembani Onceya in court. Picture: FILE

During Onceya’s bail application, which was held over several days, horrific details emerged of the abuse Thembelani Qwakanisa endured before he finally died.

While state prosecutor Lyle Prins argued that Onceya was a key player in the torture and murder — which included breaking fingers, pulling teeth with pliers and pouring hot water down Qwakanisa’s throat — defence attorney Basil Williams said his client was not even there when it happened.

Williams said the well-known local poet and social activist was in his university residence at the time.

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