R500 bail for six in house torching incident

The East London Magistrate's Court has granted R500 bail pending trial to six people accused of torching two RDP houses and three vehicles belonging to 54-year-old Buffalo City Metro ANC Ward 13 councillor Nokulunga Matiwane.

Matiwane's 23-year-old crippled daughter Nonkululeko Matiwane died in the house after she was trapped in the blaze.

In granting bail, magistrate Kevin von Bratt said although the charge was of extreme serious nature it was not up to the bail court to decide whether Vuyokazi Maphukatha, 24, Nomfuneko Majingane, 43, Nosicelo Wewe, 43, Nomvuyo Qeve, 45, Zwelixolile Nkohla, 37, and Phelisa Vakele, 31, were guilty of the crime or not.

He said the six accused had through their Legal Aid representative Matthew Mpahlwa satisfied the court that their release on bail would not jeopardise the functioning of the criminal justice sytem.

The case was postponed to October 17 for further investigation.

 The torching of Matiwane’s house followed allegations that Mthuthuzeli had killed Nomboniso Twana, 54, and Nombulelo Mpitimpiti, 50, because the women defaulted on monthly kickbacks they paid to the councillor for securing them jobs.

 Nokulunga is out on R500 bail on charges of conspiracy to murder.

 Mthuthuzeli was denied bail for the two counts of murder.

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