- Twelve men were arrested following the murder of seven men, aged between 21 and 27, in April this year.
- It is alleged the young men were rounded up and murdered in broad daylight in front of their relatives after they were accused of being behind the killing of at least 12 elderly people in Zingqolweni.
- The 12 men were denied bail in the Cacadu Magistrate's Court in the Eastern Cape.
The Cacadu Magistrate's Court in the Eastern Cape has denied bail to 12 men charged with the murder of seven youths in Zingqolweni village in what is alleged to be an act of vigilantism.
Among the accused, aged between 36 and 63, is former Emalahleni Local Municipality ward councillor Cecil Hluphekile Bobotyane, 63.
They were arrested following the murder of seven men, aged between 21 and 27.
Four of the men were confirmed dead on the scene after having been burnt to death by an angry mob in April this year. The fifth man succumbed to his injuries in hospital.
As the police were busy at the scene where the five victims were burnt to death, they were alerted to two more bodies of young men found hanging in a nearby forest in neighbouring Maqhashu.
Police investigations linked Bobotyane, Malibongwe Koki, 43, Phindile Mbhadeli, 45, Lindelo Maso, 56, Bangindawo Nyamela, 52, Sabelo Khala, 47, Ndumiso Bukwana, 37, Malibongwe Mgqeba, 48, Bathobele Phangiso, 36, Simphiwe Ngungeni, 54, Gcinumzi Jordan, 63, and Myekeni Matshawule, 58, to the murders.
It is alleged the young men were rounded up and murdered in broad daylight in front of their relatives after being accused of being behind the killing of at least 12 elderly people in Zingqolweni village since February 2021.
However, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), two more elderly people have since been murdered in that village after the vigilante attack.
NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said the men faced seven counts of murder, except Maso and Mgqeba, who were facing five counts of murder in relation to the five victims who were burnt to death.
"Delivering judgment on bail, the acting magistrate, Felicia Spangenberg, agreed with the prosecutor, Asanda Ngxafana, that it is not in the interest of justice to release the accused men on bail because they failed to show exceptional circumstances permitting their release on bail as required in law." Tyali added.
The court postponed the case to 20 August for further investigations.