Saturday, 13 August
The 20-year-old man accused of hacking two KwaZulu-Natal matric pupils to death last month is related to one of the pupils, according to her family.
“He is family. He is also [a] Zulu. Our grandparents and great-grandparents are related. They’re siblings,” Staff Zulu, the aunt of Amanda Nqobile Zulu, told News24 on Thursday.
The accused, Baphumelele Werwoed Zulu, was charged with the murder of Amanda and Minenhle Buthelezi – both 18-year-old Ginyane High School pupils.
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He allegedly attacked them in their rented student accommodation in Ngwangwane village in Creighton, on 31 July, and used an axe to hack them to death, before dismembering their bodies.
Amanda was left to fight for her life inside the house, but Minenhle’s body was dumped 5km away in Mzihlanga, Riverside.
The aunt told News24 that Amanda rented the cottage so that she could live within a walking distance from the school and attend evening classes.
According to Staff, the family did not discuss the matter with Zulu’s parents and didn’t know a possible motive for her murder.
She said they hoped to get some answers in court.
Staff also said the family wanted to know if someone else was involved, questioning whether the accused could drag Minenhle’s body 5km from the crime scene.
“Surely someone helped him hide the body; we just don’t know who. We hope the police will investigate and give us more answers,” she added.
Ward 8 councillor Mthobisi Dlamini asked similar questions.
He told News24 that the community suspected a car was used to transport Buthelezi’s body.
Dlamini said Zulu’s father cooperated with authorities and helped find his son when murder allegations against him surfaced.
He said residents threatened his father’s safety and wanted to avenge the pupils’ murder.
“I had to protect him. I didn’t think it was fair for him to suffer the consequences of his son’s actions,” Dlamini said.
Zulu’s father and the pupils’ landlord are receiving counseling, Dlamini added.
“They’re not okay. The landlord is an older woman. I hope she will feel better after counseling, but I don’t know if it’s possible to get through that trauma completely,” Dlamini said.
Zulu appeared in the Donnybrook Magistrate’s Court on two murder charges, as well as a charge that stems from an allegation that he attempted to evade arrest.
He abandoned his bail application.
Police told News24 that he attempted to escape when they took him to point out where Buthelezi’s body had been dumped.
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