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'Youth have a vital role to play in curbing violence'

Two men appeared in court for the rape and murder of a Khayelitsha teen.

A photograph of Khayelitsha teenager Sinoxolo Mafevuka on the fence of the Lower Tokai Park after mourners left tributes to murdered girls on 15 March 2016. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Khayelitsha community leader says the youth have a vital role to play in curbing gender-based violence.

Yesterday, a group of community members and activists attended the court appearance of two men accused of the rape and murder of 19-year old Sinoxolo Mafevuka. Mafevuka's family was also present.

Their bail hearing has been postponed to next Monday. Mafevuka's body was found earlier this year dumped at a communal toilet.

Community leader, Siwe Coka, says she's has mobilised a group of about 20 young girls from the community to become role models and leaders.

"Young people are the future and we need to allow them to take responsibility for their own safety net. While we're waiting for the government to bring the infrastructure, what is it that we can use on a citizenry level to protect ourselves?"

Court proceedings got off to a shaky start as the prosecutor had still not decided on whether to oppose bail or not.

The prosecutor said there had been new developments relating to the DNA that was found at the crime scene, but he wouldn't elaborate.

The two accused's lawyer, Thabo Nogemane, accused the State of being unprepared and persuaded magistrate Xolani Menyiwe to continue with bail proceedings.

Nogemane questioned accused number one who claimed he and his co-accused had nothing to do with the rape and murder of Mafevuka.

The accused told the court that they would both be pleading not guilty.

DNA EVIDENCE

The prosecutor told the court no male DNA was found at the crime scene.

The defence lawyer asked the prosecution to elaborate, but the state refused, saying the matter is still under investigation.

Nogemane also submitted a report by police watchdog Independent Police Investigating Directorate into allegations his clients had been assaulted by investigating officers.

WATCH: Teen's murder prompts Khayelitsha policing protest.

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