Court still to decide on bail for Durban man accused of homophobic hate crime

Murder accused Thando Mgenge during a previous appearance at the Ntuzuma magistrate's court.
Murder accused Thando Mgenge during a previous appearance at the Ntuzuma magistrate's court.
Image: Rogan Ward

The man accused of murdering Durban call centre agent Sphamandla Khoza in a suspected homophobic attack will have to wait until next week to learn if he will be granted bail.

Thando Mgenge, 25, appeared in the Ntuzuma magistrate's court on Monday to make his bid for bail, which was opposed by the state.

Khoza's family and LGBTQI activists were at the court to voice their opposition to Mgenge being granted bail.

According to an SABC report, Mgenge told the court he had co-operated with the police and would relocate to an alternative address should he be granted bail.

He handed himself over to the police on March 30, after Khoza's body was found in a ditch near his Ntuzuma home a day earlier.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Natasha Kara said the matter had been adjourned to April 30.

Khoza's family told TimesLIVE at the time that they believed the attack was related to his sexual orientation.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance of SA (Glasa) has started an online petition campaign on Change.org in opposition to Mgenge's bail bid. So far more than 1,500 signatures have been garnered.

According to the petition, "Sphamandla paid the ultimate price and sacrifice of his life, for being openly gay to his friends and community. We as Glasa deem this a hate crime.

"We call upon the justice system to deny Thando Mgenge bail for such an atrocious act. We strongly believe that Mgenge poses a huge threat to society and fellow members of the LGBTQIA+ community."

Phumelele Khoza, the grandmother of Sphamandla Khoza (in picture), who was murdered, speaks of her loss at her home in Ntuzuma, Durban.
Phumelele Khoza, the grandmother of Sphamandla Khoza (in picture), who was murdered, speaks of her loss at her home in Ntuzuma, Durban.
Image: Rogan Ward

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