Sithole family concerned they may ‘never see justice’

The Mozambican national was attacked by four men during xenophobic violence in Alexandra on Saturday.

Mthinta Bhengu, Sifundo Mzimela, Sizwe Mngomezulu and Ayanda Sibiya are accused of stabbing Emmanuel Sithole to death made a brief court appearance at the Alexandra Magistrate Court on 21 April 2015. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole has called for the harshest possible punishment for those who stabbed and beat him to death on the streets of Alexandra, in full view of community members.

Sithole was selling cigarettes in the township on Saturday morning when he was targeted by the group of four men.

A Sunday Times photographer who captured the xenophobic attack, drove him to hospital, where he later died.

LISTEN: Photojournalist recounts stabbing of Emmanuel Sithole

Sithole's cousin Thando says she's concerned that her family might never see justice.

"South Africa's justice system is poor. At the moment, we're not thinking about us as a family, we're thinking about foreigners because it's not about us."

Thando says they want justice not only for the 35-year-old father of three, but for all foreign nationals living in the country.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Head Mxolisi Nxasana says the state has strong evidence to prove the accused were involved in the attack.

The state has already indicated that it will oppose bail.

WATCH: 'Sithole will be prioritised along with all Xenophobia cases'

Mthinta Bhengu, Sifundo Mzimela, Sizwe Mngomezulu and Ayanda Sibiya

appeared in the Alexandra Magistrates Court yesterday.

They will formally apply for bail next month.

They've been charged with murder and robbery and will now seek legal aid.


At the same time, Sithole's stepmother says she and her family now fear for their lives.

Mmosebetsi Mofokeng says her other son now also fears being victimised by the very same community in Alexandra that looked on while Sithole was being attacked.

"He said to me, 'Mama I am also afraid'."

WATCH: Sithole's family: His birthplace killed him