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Diepsloot: Suspects to appear in court

The NPA says all five suspects will appear in court on Thursday.

The NPA says the prime suspect in the Diepsloot double murder case has asked to defend himself in court. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the prime suspect in the Diepsloot double murder case has confessed to the crimes.

Cousins Zandile (3) and Yonelisa (2) Mali were raped and murdered and left in a communal toilet.

The man made a brief appearance in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on Monday morning.

He, along with four other co-accused, will face two counts of kidnapping, rape and murder each, when they appear in court on Thursday.

Eyewitness News understands police are also investigating additional charges against the 29-year-old and have linked him to an earlier rape and murder in the area.

The NPA's Medupi Simasiku declined to elaborate on what the man's confession will mean for the state's case against them, when the trial starts.

"It must be presented in court first."

XINGWANA URGES WITNESSES TO COME FORWARD

At the same time, Women and Children's Minister Lulu Xingwana called on the community of Diepsloot to come forward and testify against the men implicated.

Xingwana says the men should receive the maximum sentence of life in prison.

"For such heinous crimes we can't take a chance and release these men on bail. To make sure our children are safe, we must make sure these people are kept in custody."

Furthermore, the community has pledged to support the family throughout the trial.

A postmortem into the exact cause of death is still due, as police investigations in the case continue.

A resident says in the aftermath of what happened to the Mali cousins, she fears for her children's safety but promises to support the family throughout the trial.

"I'm supporting the parents and will make sure I will be there all the way."

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