The magistrate presiding over the murder case of 10-year-old Liyema Dutywa yesterday urged Libode residents to let the courts administer justice.
“Everyone is doing their job,” Libode magistrate Vuyisile Yaliwe told a packed public gallery.
He was speaking on day four of bail application proceedings of Liyema’s biological father, 30-year-old Fuzile Hanise; his fiancee Asanda Mbhele, 23; and Walter Sisulu University student Manduleli Majova.
The three are accused of the murder of the young girl, whose body was found in a forest near Tsolo on June 9 after she had allegedly been taken from her school in Misty Mount in the Libode area earlier on the day.
Since the proceedings started on Tuesday, Yaliwe has continually had to caution the public gallery against noisy remarks during the questioning of suspects by both state prosecutor Nomava Buso and defence lawyer Nelson Nombambela.
Some in the gallery also made noises inside the courtroom whenever they felt Nombambela was making points they felt could influence the court to grant the suspects bail.
Yaliwe had to remind the gallery they were mere observers in the case.
Yesterday, the defence lawyer continued from where he left off on Thursday, arguing that the state did not have a strong case and relied solely on “confessions” allegedly made by the three suspects to the police.
All three have denied confessing to the crime.
He also accused the investigating officer, Detective Constable Simlindile Skwatsha, of failing to read out to the suspects their rights when they were arrested.
“There is no indication of the strong case that the state says it has expected for the alleged confessions.”
But Buso argued that the trio would endanger public peace should they be granted bail, adding that the community was reeling in shock following Liyema’s murder.
She also told the court the suspects could pose a danger to witnesses including Liyema’s mom Zintle Dutywa, who they are alleged to have planned to kill as well.
The case was postponed to July 20 for Yaliwe to make a ruling. — sikhon@dispatch.