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Diepsloot: Suspects to appear in court

All five suspects charged with raping and murdering two children will appear in court on Thursday.

The tiny coffins of Yonelisa and Zandile Mali are pictured shortly before burial on 19 October 2013. The young cousins were found raped and murdered in Diepsloot earlier in the week. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - All five men charged with the murders of two Diepsloot cousins will be back in the dock, together for the first time, on Thursday.

The latest suspect, who was arrested in the Alexandra township on Thursday night and subsequently confessed to the crimes, made a brief appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court this morning.

He was arrested after evading police for two days.

Zandile (3) and Yonelisa (2) Mali's mutilated bodies were discovered dumped inside a communal toilet on Tuesday by a community member after they'd been missing for three days.

Wearing a red T-shirt and blue jeans, the prime suspect appeared composed as he stood in front of the Magistrate in Court D, which was packed to capacity.

The 34-year-old man has not been formally charged and was told to return to court on Thursday, where he will appear with four of his co-accused.

Police say he has confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing the two girls, but it's unclear if he will plead guilty in court.

At the same time, Gauteng police have confirmed they are investigating a possible case of child neglect and abandonment.

The parents of the little girls have told police they last saw them playing unsupervised outside their yard.

The police's Oswald Reddy did not rule out the possibility the parents of the Mali cousins could also be prosecuted.

"We're still following up on our investigations to see if there was any negligence. If there is, steps will be taken."

The two girls were buried at the Diepsloot Cemetery on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Diepsloot mothers have called for the police's tactical response team to be deployed in the area to improve the safety of women and children.

Residents accused police of being inactive in their efforts to protect vulnerable members of the community.

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